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ANCIENT AND MODERN 



CHARLES DUDLEY WARNER 

EDITOR 

HAMILTON WRIGHT MABIE 
LUCIA GILBERT RUNKLE 
GEORGE HENRY WARNER 
ASSOCIATE EDITORS 



THIRTY- ONE yOLUMLS 
Vol. hi. 



NEW YORK 

J. A. HILL & COMPANY 



Ukrary of 

"»• Church Coll^o of 

Hawaii 



15622 



Copyright 1896 
By R. S. Peale and J. A. Hill 

Copyright 1902 
By J. A. Hill 



All Rights Reserved 



preee an^ S<nAcrt 

of 

Bxiil printing Company 

pbila&eXpbia 



THE ADVISORY COUNCIL 



CRAWFORD H. TOY, A. M., LL. D., 

Professor of Hebrew, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass. 

THOMAS R. LOUNSBURY, LL. D., L. H. D., 

Professor of English in the Sheffield Scientific School of 

Yale University, New Haven, Conn. 

WILLIAM M. SLOANE, Ph. D., L. H. D., 

Professor of History and Political Science, 

Princeton University, Princeton, N. J. 

BRANDER MATTHEWS, A. M., LL. B., 

Professor of Literature, Columbia University, New York City. 

JAMES B. ANGELL, LL. D.. 

President of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich. 

WILLARD FISKE, A. M., Ph. D., 

Late Professor of the Germanic and Scandinavian Languages 
and Literatures, Cornell University, Ithaca, N. Y. 

EDWARD S. HOLDEN, A. M., LL. D., 

Director of the Lick Observatory, and Astronomer. 

University of California, Berkeley, Cal. 

ALCEE FORTIER, Lit. D.. 

Professor of the Romance Languages, 

Tulane University, New Orleans, La. 

WILLIAM P. TRENT, M. A., 

Dean of the Department of Arts and Sciences, and Professor of 
English and History, 

University of the South, Sewance, Tenn. 

PAUL SHOREY, Ph. D., 

Professor of Greek and Latin Literature, 

University of Chicago, Chicago. 111. 

WILLIAM T. HARRIS, LL. D.. 

United States Commissioner of Education, 

Bureau of Education, Washington, D. C. 

MAURICE FRANCIS EGAN, A. M., LL. D., 
Professor of Literature in the 

Catholic University of .America. Washington, D. C. 



15622 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 
VOL. Ill 



Jens Baggesen 1764-1826 1235 

A Cosmopolitan (< The Labyrinth ') 

Philosophy on the Heath (same) 

There was a Time when I was Very Little 

Philip JaiMes Bailey 1816- 1243 

From <Festus>: Life; The Passing-Bell ; Thoughts; 
Dreams; Chorus of the Saved 

Joanna Baillie 1762-1851 1253 

Woo'd and Married and A' 
It Was on a Morn when We Were Thrang 
Fy, Let Us A' to the Wedding 
The Weary Fund o' Tow 
From * De Montfort * 
To Mrs. Siddons 
A Scotch Song 

Song, < Poverty Parts Good Company* 
The Kitten 

Henry Martyn Baird 1832- 1272 

The Battle of Ivry (< The Huguenots and Henry of Na- 
varre *) 

Sir Samuel White Baker 1821-1893 1277 

Hunting in Abyssinia (* The Nile Tributaries of Abys- 
sinia*) 
The Sources of the Nile (*The Albert Nyanza *) 

Arthur James Balfour 1848- 1287 

The Pleasures of Reading (Rectorial Address) 



VI 

LIVED PAGE 

The Ballad 1305 

BY F. B. GUMMERE 

Robin Hood and Guy of Gis- Bessie Bell and Mary Gray 

borne The Three Ravens 

The Hunting of the Cheviot Lord Randal 

Johnie Cock Edward 

Sir Patrick Spens The Twa Brothers 

The Bonnie Earl of Murray Babylon 

Mary Hamilton Childe Maurice 

Bonnie George Campbell The Wife of Usher's Well 
Sweet William's Ghost 

Honors de Balzac i 799-1850 1348 

BY WILLIAM P. TRENT 

The Meeting in the Convent (* The Duchess of Langeais *j 

An Episode Under the Terror 

A Passion in the Desert 

The Napoleon of the People (* The Country Doctor *) 

George Bancroft 1800-1891 1433 

BY AUSTIN SCOTT 

The Beginnings of Virginia (* History of the United 

States') 
Men and Government in Early Massachusetts (same) 
King Philip's War (same) 
The New Netherland (same) 
Franklin (same) 

Wolfe on the Plains of Abraham (same) 
Washington (same) 

John and Michael Banim '^^ „ i4';8 

•* 1796-1874 ^•' 

The Publican's Dream (<The Bit o' 

Writin'>) 
Ailleen 

Soggarth Aroon 
Irish Maiden's Song 

Th]£odore de Banville 1823-1891 1474 

Le Cafe ('The Soul of Paris >) 

The Mysterious Hosts of the Forest (<The Caryatids*: 

Lang's Translation) 
Aux Enfants Perdus : Lang's Translation 
Ballade des Pendus : Lang's Translation 



Vll 

LIVED PAGE 

Anna L^etitia Barbauld i 743-1825 1481 

Against Inconsistency in Our Expectations 

A Dialogue of the Dead 

Life 

Praise to God 

Alexander Barclay 1475-1552 1496 

The Courtier's Life (Second Eclogue) 

Richard Harris Barham 1788-1845 1503 

As I Laye A-Thynkynge 
The Lay of St. Cuthbert 
A Lay of St. Nicholas 

Sabine Baring-Gould 1834- 1529 

St. Patrick's Purgatory (* Curious Myths of the Middle 

Ages >) 
The Cornish Wreckers ('The Vicar of Morwenstow') 

Jane Barlow 18 — 1543 

Widow Joyce's Cloak (* Strangers at Lisconnel ') 
Walled Out (< Bogland Studies >) 

Joel Barlow 1754-1812 1557 

A Feast (< Hasty Pudding*) 

William Barnes i 800-1 886 1563 

Blackmwore Maidens Jessie Lee 

May The Turnstile 

Milken Time To the Water-Crowfoot 

Zummer an' Winter 

James Matthew Barrie i860- 1571 

The Courtin' of T'nowhcad's Bell (<Auld Licht Idylls') 

Jess Left Alone ('A Window in Thrums') 

After the Sermon (< The Little Minister') 

The Mutual Discovery (same) 

Lost Illusions ("Sentimental Tommy*) 

Sins of Circumstance (same) 

Fr^d^ric Bastiat 1801-1850 1607 

Petition of Manufacturers of Artificial Li.i^ht 
Stulta and Pucra 
Inapplicable Terms (• Economic Sophisms >) 



Vlll 

LIVED PAGE 

Charles Baudelaire 1821-1867 161 7 

BY GRACE KING 

Meditation 
Death of the Poor 
Music 

The Broken Bell 
The Enemy 
Beauty 
Death 

The Painter of Modern Life (< L'Art Romantique >) 
Modernness 

From < Little Poems in Prose * : Every One His Own Chi- 
mera; Humanity; Windovi^s; Drink 
From a Journal 

Lord Beaconsfield 1804-1881 1633 

by isa carrington cabell 

A Day at Ems ('Vivian Grey') 

The Festa in the Alhambra (< The Young Duke >) 

Squibs from *■ The Young Duke * : Charles Annesley ; The 

Fussy Hostess; Public Speaking; Female Beauty 
Lothair in Palestine (* Lothair *) 

Beaumarchais 1732-1799 1657 

BY BRANDER MATTHEWS 

Outwitting a Guardian (* The Barber of Seville *) 
Outwitting a Husband (* The Marriage of Figaro *) 

Francis Beaumont and Torn Fletcher ^^ '^~ ,^ 1674 

-• 1579-1625 ''^ 

The Faithful Shepherdess 

Song 

Song 

Aspatia's Song 

Leandro's Song 

True Beauty 

Ode to Melancholy 

To Ben Jonson, on His *Fox' 

On the Tombs in Westminster 

Arethusa's Declaration (* Philaster *) 

The Story of Bellario (same) 



vs. 

LIVED PAGE 

Francis Beaumont and John Fletcher — Continued: 
Evadne's Confession (< The Maid's Tragedy*) 
Death of the Boy Hengo (<Bonduca') 
From < The Two Noble Kinsmen > 

William Beckford i 759-1844 1699 

The Incantation and the Sacrifice (< Vathek >) 
Vathek and Nouronihar in the Halls of Eblis (same) 

Henry Ward Beecher 1813-1887 1713 

BY LYMAN ABBOTT 

Book-Stores and Books (* Star Papers *) 

Selected Paragraphs 

Sermon : Poverty and the Gospel 

A New England Sunday (* Norwood ') 

LuDwiG VAN Beethoven 1770-1827 1749 

BY E. IREN^US STEVENSON 

Letters: To Dr. Wegeler; To the Same; To Bettina Bren- 
tano; To Countess Giulietta Guicciardi; To the Same; 
To His Brothers; To the Royal and Imperial High 
Court of Appeal ; To Baroness von Drossdick ; To 
Zmeskall; To the Same; To his Brother Johann; To 
Stephan v. Breuning 

Carl Michael Bellman i 740-1 795 1763 

BY OLGA FLINCH 
To Ulla 

Cradle-Song for My Son Carl 
Amaryllis 
Art and Politics 
Drink Out Thy Glass 

Jeremy Bentham 1748-1832 1773 

Of the Principle of Utility (<An Introduction to the Prin- 
ciples of Morals and Legislation') 
Reminiscences of Childhood 
Letter to George Wilson (1781) 
Fragment of a Letter to Lord Lansdownc (1790) 



LIVED PAGE 

Jean-Pierre de Beranger 1780-1857 1783 

BY ALCEE FORTIER 

From < The Gipsies* The People's Reminiscences 

The Gad-Fly The Old Tramp 

Draw it Mild Fifty Years 

The King of Yvetot The Garret 

Fortune My Tomb 

From His Preface to His Collected Poems 

George Berkeley 1685-1753 1801 

On the Prospect of Planting Arts and Learning in America 
Essay on Tar- Water (^Siris') 

Hector Berlioz 1803-1869 1809 

The Italian Race as Musicians and Auditors ('Autobio- 
graphy >) 
The Famous " Snuff-Box Treachery " (same) 
On Gluck (same) 
On Bach (same) 

Music as an Aristocratic Art (same) 
Beginning of a " Grand Passion " (same) 
On Theatrical Managers in Relation to Art 

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux 1091-1153 1819 

Saint Bernard's Hymn 

Monastic Luxury (Apology to the Abbot William '^ St. 

Thierry) 
From His Sermon on the Death of Gerard 

Bernard of Cluny Twelfth Centu y 1828 

BY WILLIAM C. PRIME 

Brief Life Is Here Our Portion 

Juliana Berners Fifteenth Century 1834 

The Treatyse of Fysshynge wyth an Angle 



1235 




JENS BAGGESEN 

(i 764-1 826) 

[ens Baggesen was born in the little Danish town Korsbr in 
1764, and died in exile in the year 1826. Thus he belonged 
to two centuries and to two literary periods. He had 
reached manhood when the French Revolution broke out; he wit- 
nessed Napoleon's rise, his victories, and his fall. He was a full 
contemporary of Goethe, who survived him only six years; he saw 
English literature glory in men like Byron 
and Moore, and lived to hear of Byron's 
death in Greece. In his first works he 
stood a true representative of the culture 
and literature of the eighteenth century, 
and was hailed as its exponent by the 
Danish poet Herman Wessel; towards the 
end of the century he was acknowledged 
to be the greatest of living Danish poets. 
Then with the new age came the Norwe- 
gian, Henrik Steffens, with his enthusiastic 
lectures on German romanticism, calling 
out the genius of Oehlenschlager, and the 
eighteenth century was doomed; Baggesen 
nevertheless greeted Oehlenschlager with 
sincere admiration, and when the * Aladdin * of that poet appeared, 
Baggesen sent him his rhymed letter * From Nureddin-Baggesen to 
Aladdin-Oehlenschlager. * 

Baggesen was the son of poor people, and strangers helped him 
to his scientific education. When his first works were recognized he 
became the friend and protege of the Duke of Augustenborg, who 
provided him with the means for an extended journey through the 
Continent, during which he met the greatest men of his time. The 
Duke of Augustenborg meanwhile secured him several positions, 
which could not hold him for any length of time, nor keep him at 
home in Denmark. He went abroad a second time to study peda- 
gogics, literature, and philosophy, came home again, wandered forth 
once more, returned a widower, was for some time director of the 
National Theatre in Copenhagen ; but found no rest, married again, 
and in 1800 went to France to live. Eleven years later he was pro- 
'fessor in Kiel, returning thence to Copenhagen, where meanwhile his 




Jens Baggesen 



1236 JENS BAGGESEN t 

fame had been eclipsed by the genius of Oehlenschlager. Secure in 
the knowledge of his powers, Oehlenschlager had carelessly published 
two or three dramatic poems not worthy of his pen, and Baggesen 
entered on a violent controversy with him in which he stood practi- 
cally by himself against the entire reading public, whose sympathies 
were with Oehlenschlager. Alone and misunderstood, restless and 
unhappy, he left Denmark in 1820, never to return. Six years later 
he died, longing to see his country again, but unable to reach it. 

His first poetry was published in 1785, a volume of * Comic Tales,* 
which made its mark at once. The following year appeared in quick 
succession satires, rhymed epistles, and elegies, which, adding to his 
fame, added also to the purposeless ferment and unrest which had 
taken possession of him. He considered tragedy his proper field, yet 
had allowed himself to appear as humorist and satirist. 

When the great historic events of the time took place, and over- 
threw all existing conditions, this inner restlessness drove him to 
and fro without purpose or will. One day he was enthusiastic over 
Voss's idyls, the next he was carried away by Robespierre's wildest 
speeches. One year he adopted Kant's Christian name Immanuel in 
transport over his works, the next he called the great philosopher 
"an empty nut, and moreover hard to crack." The romanticism in 
Denmark as well as in Germany reduced him to a state of utter 
confusion; but in spite of this he continued a child of the old order, 
which was already doomed. And with all his unrest and discord he 
remained nevertheless the champion of "form," "the poet of the 
graces," as he has been called. 

This gift of form has given him his literary importance. He 
built a bridge from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century; and 
when the new romantic school overstepped its privileges, it was he 
who called it to order. The most conspicuous act of his literary life 
was the controversy with Oehlenschlager, and the wittiest product of 
his pen is the reckless criticism of Oehlenschlager's opera < Ludlam's 
Cave.* Johann Ludvig Heiberg, the greatest analytical critic of 
whom Denmark can boast, remained Baggesen's ardent admirer; and 
Heiberg's influential although not always just criticism of Oehlen- 
schlager as a poet was no doubt called forth by Baggesen's attack. 
Some years later Henrik Hertz made Baggesen his subject. In 1830 
appeared 'Letters from Ghosts,' poetic epistles from Paradise. No- 
body knew that Hertz was the author. It was Baggesen's voice from 
beyond the grave, Baggesen's criticism upon the literature of 1830. 
It was one of the wittiest, and in versification one of the best, books 
in Danish literature. 

Baggesen's most important prose work is < Th^ Labyrinth,' after- 
wards called <The Wanderings of a Poet.* It is a poetic description 



JENS BAGGESEN 1237 

of his journeys, unique in its way, rich in impressions and full of 
striking remarks, written in a piquant, graceful, and easy style. 

As long as Danish literature remains, Baggesen's name will be 
known; though his writings are not now widely read, and are im- 
portant chiefly because of their influence on the literary spirit of his 
own time. His familiar poem * There was a time when I was very 
little,' during the controversy with Oehlenschlager, was seized upon 
by Paul MoUer, parodied, and changed into * There was a time when 
Jens was much bigger. > Equally well known is his *Ode to My 
Country,* with the familiar lines: — 

«Alas, in no place is the thorn as tiny, 

Alas, in no place blooms as red a rose, 
Alas, in no place is there couch as downy 

As where we little children found repose. » 



A COSMOPOLITAN 
From <Thc Labyrinth' 

FORSTER, a little nervous, alert, and piquant man, with gravity 
written on his forehead, perspicacity in his eye, and love 
around his lips, conquered me completely. I spoke to him 
of everything- except his journeys; but the traveler showed 
himself full of unmistakable humanity. He seemed to me the 
cosmopolitan spirit personified. It was as if the world were 
present when I was alone with him. 

We talked about his friend Jacobi, about the late King of 
Prussia, about the literature of Germany, and about the present 
Pole-high standard of taste. I was much pleased to find in him 
the art critic I sought. He said that we must admire everything 
which is good and beautiful, wlicther it originates West, East, 
South, or North. The taste of the bee is the true one. Differ- 
ence in language and climate, difference of nationality, must not 
affect my interest in fair and noble things. The unknown repels 
the animal, but should not repel the human creature. Suppose 
you say that Voltaire is animal in comparison with Shakespeare 
or Klopstock, or that they are animal in coiiiparison with him: 
it is a l)lunder to demand pears of an apple-tree, as it is ridicu- 
lous to throw away the apple because it is not a pear. The 
entire world of nature teaclies us this jcsthetic tolerance, and yet 
we have as little acciuired it as we ha\e freedom of conscience. 
We plant wliite and red roses in the same bed, but who puts 



1238 JENS BA.GGESEN t 

the * Messiah * and the ' Henriade * on the same shelf ? He only 
who reads neither the one nor the other. True religion wor- 
ships God; true taste worships the beautiful without regard of 
person or nation. German ? French ? Italian ? or English ? All 
the same ! But nothing mediocre. 

I was flushed with pleasure; I gave him my hand. **That 
may be said of other things than poetry!* I said. — ** Of all art!** 
he answered. — "Of all that is human!" we both concluded. 

Deplorable indolence which clothes our mind in the first heavy 
cloak ready to hand, so that all the sunbeams of the world can- 
not persuade us to throw it off, much less to assume another! 
The man who is exclusively a nationalist is a snail forever 
chained to his house. Psyche had wings given her for a never- 
ending, eternal flight. We may not imprison her. be the cage 
ever so large. 

He considered that Lessing had wronged the great repre- 
sentative of the French language; and the remark of Claudius, 
** Voltaire says he weeps, and Shakespeare does weep, '* appeared 
to him like the saying, ** Much that is new and beautiful has 
M. Arouet said; but it is a pity that the beautiful is not new and 
the new not beautiful," — more witty than true. The English 
think that Shakespeare, as the Germans think that Lessing, really 
weeps; the French think the same of Voltaire. But the first 
weeps for the whole world, it is said, the last only for his own 
people. What the French call " Le Nord " is, to be sure, rather 
a large territory, but not the entire world ! France calls " whim- 
pering " in one case and ** blubbering " in another what we call 
weeping. The general mistake is that we do not iinderstand the 
nature of the people and the language, in which and for whom 
the weeping is done. 

We must be English when we read Shakespeare, German 
when we read Klopstock, French when we read Voltaire. The 
man whose soul cannot shed its national costume and don that 
of other nations ought not to read, much less to judge, their 
masterpieces. He will be looking at the moon by day and at the 
sun by night, and see the first without lustre and the last not 
at all. 



JENS BAGGESEN jjjp 

PHILOSOPHY ON THE HEATH 
From <The Lab}Tinth> 

CAiLLARD was E man of experience, taste, and knowledge. He 
told me the story of his life from beginning to end, he 
confided to me his principles and his affairs, and I took 
him to be the happiest man in the world. " I have everj'thing, " 
he said, " all that I have wished for or can wish for : health, 
riches, domestic peace (being tmmarried), a tolerably good con- 
science, books — and as much sense as I need to enjoy them. I 
experience only one single want, lack only one single pleasure 
in this world; but that one is enough to embitter my life and 
class me with other unfortunates." 

I could not guess what might yet be wanting to such a man 
under such conditions. " It cannot be liberty, " I said, " for how 
can a rich merchant in a free town lack this ? " 

"No! Heaven save me — I neither would nor could live one 
single day without liberty.'* 

" You do not happen to be in love with some cruel or unhappy 
princess ? '* 

"That is still less the case." 

"Ah! — now I have it, no doubt — your soul is consumed with 
a thirst for truth, for a satisfactory answer to the many questions 
which are but philosophic riddles. Yoix are seeking what so 
many brave men from Anaxagoras to Spinoza have sought in 
vain — the comer-stone of philosophy, the foundation of the struct- 
ure of our ideas.** 

He assured me that in this respect he was quite at ease. 
"Then, in spite of your good health, you must be subject to that 
miserable thing, a cold in the head ? *' I said. 

"Uno minor^Jove, dives 
Liber, honoratus, pulcher rex denique regum, 
Prsecipue sanus — nisi cum pituita molesta est.** 

— Horace. 

When he denied this too, I gave up trying to solve the mean- 
ing of his dark words. 

O happiness! of all earthly chimeras thou art the most 
chimerical! I would rather seek dry figs on the bottom of the 
sea and fresh ones on this heath, — I would rather seek liberty, 



1240 JENS BAGGESEN ^ 

or truth itself, or the philosoplicr's stone, than to rnn after thee, 
most deceitft:! of hghts, will-o'-the-wisp of our human life ! 

I thought that at last I had found a perfectly happy, an 
enviable man; and now — behold! though I have not the ten- 
thousandth part of his wealth, though I have not the tenth part 
of his health, though I may not have a third of his intellect, 
although I have all the wants which he has not and the one want 
under which he suffers, yet I would not change places with him ! 

From this moment he was the object of my sincerest pity. 
But what did this awful curse prove to be ? Listen and tremble ! 

"Of what use is it all to me?" he said: "coffee, which I love 
more than all the wines of this earth and more than all the 
women of this earth, coffee which I love madly — coffee is for- 
bidden me ! ** 

Laugh who lists! Inasmuch as everything in this world, 
viewed in a certain light, is tragic, it would be excusable to 
weep: but inasmuch as everything viewed in another light is 
comic, a little laughter could not be taken amiss; only beware of. 
laughing at the sigh with which my happy man pronounced these 
words, for it might be that in laughing at him you laugh at 
yourself, your father, your grandfather, your great-grandfather, 
your great-great-grandfather, and so on, including your entire 
family as far back as Adam. 

If, in laughing at stich discontent, you lai:gh in advance at 
your son, your son's son's son, and so forth to the last descend- 
ant of your entire family, this is a matter which I do not decide. 
It will depend upon the road humanity chooses to take. If it 
continues as it is going, some coffee-want or other will forever 
strew it with thorns. 

Had he said, "Chocolate is forbidden me," or tea, or English 
ale, or madeira, or strawberries, you would have found his mis- 
er)^ equally absurd. 

The great Alexander is said- to have wept because he found 
no more worlds to conquer. The man who bemoans the loss of 
a world and the man who bemoans the loss of coffee are to my 
mind equally unbalanced and equally in need of forgiveness. 
The desire for a cup of coffee and the desire for a crown, the 
hankering after the flavor or even the fragrance of the drink and 
the hankering after fame, are equally mad and equally — human. 

If history is to be believed, Adam possessed all the advantages 
and comforts, all the necessities and luxuries a first man could 



JENS BAGGESEN 1241 

reasonably demand. . . . Lord of all living things, and 
sharing his dominion with his beloved, what did he lack ? 

Among ten thousand pleasures, the fruit of one single tree 
was forbidden him. Good-by content and peace I Good-by for- 
ever all his bliss! 

I acknowledge that I should have yielded to the same tempta- 
tion ; and he who does not see that this fate would have over- 
taken his entire family, past and to come, may have studied ail 
things from the Milky Way in the sky to the milky way in his 
kitchen, may have studied all stones, plants, and animals, and 
all folios and quartos dealing therewith, but never himself or 
man. 

As we do not know the nature of the fruit which Adam 
could not do without, it may as well have been coffee as any 
other. That it was pleasant to the eyes means no more than 
that it was forbidden. Every forbidden thing is pleasant to the 
eyes. 

"Of what use is it all to me?" said Adam, looking around 
him in Eden, at the rising sun, the blushing hills, the light- 
green forest, the glorious waterfall, the laden fruit-trees, and, 
most beautiful of all, the smiling woman — "of what use is it all 
to me, when I dare not taste this coffee bean ? '* 

" And of what use is it all to me ? '* said Mr. Caillard, and 
looked around him on the Liineburg heath : " coffee is forbidden 
me; one single cup of coffee would kill me." 

"If it will be any comfort to you," I said, "I may tell you 
that I am in the same case. " " And you do not despair at 
times?" — "No," I replied, "for it is not my only want. If like 
you I had everything else in life, I also might despair." 



1242 JENS BAGGESEN 



THERE WAS A TIME WHEN I WAS VERY LITTLE 



T 



HERE was a time, when I, an urchin slender, 
Could hardly boast of having any height. 

Oft I recall those days with feelings tender; 

With smiles, and yet the tear-drops dim my sight. 



Within my tender mother's arms I sported, 
I played at horse upon my grandsire's knee ; 

Sorrow and care and anger, ill-reported, 
As little known as gold or Greek, to me. 

The world was little to my childish thinking, 
And innocent of sin and sinful things; 

I saw the stars above me flashing, winking — 

To fly and catch them, how I longed for wings! 

I saw the moon behind the hills declining, 
And thought, O were I on yon lofty ground, 

I'd learn the truth ; for here there's no divining 
How large it is, how beautiful, how round! 

In wonder, too, I saw God's sun pursuing 

His westward course, to ocean's lap of gold; 

And yet at morn the East he was renewing 
With wide-spread, rosy tints, this artist old. 

Then turned my thoughts to God the Father gracious, 
Who fashioned me and that great orb on high, 

And the night's jewels, decking heaven spacious; 
From pole to pole its arch to glorify. 

With childish piety my lips repeated 

The prayer learned at my pious mother's knee: 
Help me remember, Jesus, I entreated, 

That I must grow up good and true to Thee! 

Then for the household did I make petition. 

For kindred, friends, and for the town's folk, last; 

The unknown King, the outcast, whose condition 
Darkened my childish joy, as he slunk past. 

All lost, all vanished, childhood's days so eager! 

My peace, my joy with them have fled away; 
I've only memory left : possession meagre ; 

Oh, never may that leave me, Lord, I pray. 



1243 



PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 
(1816-) 




[N Bailey we have a striking instance of the man whose rep- 
utation is made suddenly by a single work, which obtains 
an amazing popularity, and which is presently almost for- 
gotten except as a name. When in 1839 the long poem <Festus* 
appeared, its author was an unknown youth, who had hardly reached 
his majority. Within a few months he was a celebrity. That so 
dignified and suggestive a performance should have come from so 
young a poet was considered a marvel of precocity by the literary 
world, both English and American. 

The author of * Festus ' was born at 
Basford, Nottinghamshire, England, April 
22d, 1 8 16. Educated at the public schools 
of Nottingham, and at Glasgow University, 
he studied law, and at nineteen entered 
Lincoln's Inn. In 1840 he was admitted 
to the bar. But his vocation in life 
appears to have been metaphysical and 
spiritual rather than legal. 

His * Festus: a Poem,' containing fifty- 
five episodes or successive scenes, — some 
thirty-five thousand lines, — was begun in 
his twentieth year. Three years later it 
was in the hands of the English reading 
public. Like Goethe's < Faust ' in pursuing the course of a human 
soul through influences emanating from the Supreme Good and the 
Supreme Evil; in having Heaven and the World as its scene; in its 
inclusion of God and the Devil, the Archangels and Angels, the 
Powers of Perdition, and withal many earthly types in its action, — 
it is by no means a mere imitation of the great German. Its plan is 
wider. It incorporates even more impressive spiritual material than 
< Faust > offers. Not only is its mortal hero, Festus, conducted 
through an amazing pilgrimage, spiritual and redeemed by divine 
Love, but we have in the poem a conception of close association 
with Christianity, profound ethical suggestions, a flood of theology 
and philosophy, metaphysics and science, picturing Good and Evil, 
love and hate, peace and war, the past, the present, and the future, 
earth, heaven, and hell, heights and depths, dominions, principalities, 
and powers, God and man. tlic whole of being and of not-being, — all 




Philip J.^mes Bailey 



1244 PHILIP JAMES BAILEY ' 

in an effort to unmask the last and greatest secrets of Infinity. And 
more than all this, < Festns > strives to portray the sufficiency of 
Divine Love and of the Divine Atonement to dissipate, even to anni- 
hilate. Evil. For even Lucifer and the hosts of darkness are restored 
to purity and to peace among the Sons of God, the Children of 
Light ! The Love of God is set forth as limitless. We have before 
us the birth of matter at the Almighty's fiat; and we close the work 
with the salvation and ecstasy — described as decreed from the Begin- 
ning—of whatever creature hath been given a spiritual existence, 
and made a spiritual subject and agency. There is in the doctrine 
of *■ Festus * no such thing as the ** Son of Perdition " who shall be 
an ultimate castaway. 

Few English poems have attracted more general notice from all 
intelligent classes of readers than did < Festus* on its advent. Ortho- 
doxy was not a little aghast at its theologic suggestions. Criticism 
of it as a literary production was hampered not a little by religious 
sensitiveness. The London Literary Gazette said of it: — "It is an 
extraordinary production, out-Heroding Kant in some of its phi- 
losophy, and out-Goetheing Goethe in the introduction of the Three 
Persons of the Trinity as interlocutors in its wild plot. Most objec- 
tionable as it is on this account, it yet contains so many exquisite 
passages of genuine poetry, that our admiration of the author's 
genius overpowers the feeling of mortification at its being misap- 
plied, and meddling with such dangerous topics." The advance of 
liberal ideas within the churches has diminished such criticism, but 
the work is still a stumbling-block to the less speculative of sec- 
taries. 

The poem is far too long, and its scope too vast for even a 
genius of much higher and riper gifts than Bailey's. It is turgid, 
untechnical in verse, wordy, and involved. Had Bailey written at 
fifty instead of at twenty, it might have shown a necessary balance 
and felicity of style. But, with all these shortcomings, it is not to 
be relegated to the library of things not worth the time to know, to 
the list of bulky poetic failures. Its author blossomed and fruited 
marvelously early; so early and with such unlooked-for fruit that the 
unthinking world, which first received him with exaggerated honor, 
presently assailed him with undue dispraise. 'Festus* is not mere 
solemn and verbose commonplace. Here and there it has passages 
of great force and even of high beauty. The author's whole heart 
and brain were poured into it, and neither was a common one. 
With all its ill-based daring and manifest crudities, it was such a 
tour de force for a lad of twenty as the world seldom sees. Its slug- 
gish current bears along remarkable knowledge, great reflection, and 
the imagination of a fertile as well as a precocious brain. It is a 



PHILIP JAMES BAILEY I 245 

Stream which carries with it things new and old, and serves to stir 
the mind of the onlooker with unwonted thoughts. Were it but one 
fourth as long, it would still remain a favorite poem. Even now it 
has passed through numerous editions, and been but lately repub- 
lished in sumptuous form after fifty years of life; and in the cata- 
logfue of higher metaphysico-relig^ous poetry it will long maintain 
an honorable place. It is cited here among the books whose fame 
rather than whose importance demand recognition. 



FROM <FESTUS> 
Life 

FESTUS — Men's callings all 

Are mean and vain; their wishes more so: oft 
The man is bettered by his part or place. 
How slight a chance may raise or sink a soul! 

Lucifer — What men call accident is God's own part. 
He lets ye work your will — it is his own: 
But that ye mean not, know not, do not, he doth. 

Festus — What is life worth without a heart to feel 
The great and lovely harmonies which time 
And nature change responsive, all writ out 
By preconcertive hand which swells the strain 
To divine fulness; feel the poetry. 
The soothing rhythm of life's fore-ordered lay; 
The sacredness of things? — for all things are 
Sacred so far, — the worst of them, as seen 
By the eye of God, they in the aspect bide 
Of holiness: nor shall outlaw sin be slain. 
Though rebel banned, within the sceptre's length ; 
But privileged even for service. Oh! to stand 
Soul-raptured, on some lofty mountain-thought. 
And feel the spirit expand into a view 
Millennial, life-c.xalting, of a day 
When earth shall have all leisure for high ends 
Of social culture ; ends a liberal law 
And common peace of nations, blent with charge 
Divine, shall win for man, were joy indeed: 
Nor greatly less, to know wliat might be now. 
Worked will for good with power, for one brief hour. 
But look at these, these individual souls: 
How sadly men show out of joint wilii man! 
There are milliuns never think a noble thought; 



J246 PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 

But with brute hate of brightness bay a mind 
Which drives the darkness out of them, like hounds. 
Throw but a false glare round them, and in shoals 
They rush upon perdition : that's the race. 
What charm is in this world-scene to such minds ? 
Blinded by dust ? What can they do in heaven, 
A state of spiritual means and ends ? 
Thus must I doubt — perpetually doubt. 

Lucifer — Who never doubted never half believed. 
Where doubt, there truth is — 'tis her shadow. I 
Declare unto thee that the past is not. 
I have looked over all life, yet never seen 
The age that had been. Why then fear or dream 
About the future ? Nothing but what is, is ; 
Else God were not the Maker that he seems, 
As constant in creating as in being. 
Embrace the present. Let the future pass. 
Plague not thyself about a future. That 
Only which comes direct from God, his spirit, 
Is deathless. Nature gravitates without 
Effort; and so all mortal natures fall 
Deathwards. All aspiration is a toil ; 
But inspiration cometh from above. 
And is no labor. The earth's inborn strength 
Could never lift her up to yon stars, whence 
She fell; nor human soul, by native worth, 
Claim heaven as birthright, more than man may call 
Cloudland his home. The soul's inheritance. 
Its birth-place, and its death-place, is of earth ; 
Until God maketh earth and soul anew; 
The one like heaven, the other like himself. 
So shall the new creation come at once; 
Sin, the dead branch upon the tree of life, 
Shall be cut off forever; and all souls 
Concluded in God's boundless amnesty. 

Festus — Thou windest and unwindest faith at will. 
What am I to believe ? 

Lucifer— Thou mayest believe 

But that thou art forced to. 

Festus — Then I feel, perforce, 

That instinct of immortal life in me, 
Which prompts me to provide for it. 

Lucifer — Perhaps. 

JFestus — Man hath a knowledge of a time to come - 
His most important knowledge : the weight lies 



PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 1247 

Nearest the short end; and the world depends 
Upon what is to be. I would deny 
The present, if the future. Oh! there is 
A life to come, or all's a dream. 

Lucifer — And all 

May be a dream. Thou seest in thine, men, deeds, 
Clear, moving, full of speech and order; then 
Why may not all this world be but a dream 
Of God's ? Fear not ! Some morning God may waken. 

Festus — I would it were. This life's a mystery. 
The value of a thought cannot be told; 
But it is clearly worth a thousand lives 
Like many men's. And yet men love to live 
As if mere life were worth their living for. 
What but perdition will it be to most } 
Life's more than breath and the quick round of blood; 
It is a great spirit and a busy heart. 
The coward and the small in soul scarce do live. 
One generous feeling — one great thought — one deed 
Of good, ere night, would make life longer seem 
Than if each year might number a thousand days. 
Spent as is this by nations of mankind. 
We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; 
In feelings, not in figures on a dial. 
We should count time by heart-throbs. He most lives 
Who thinks most — feels the noblest — acts the best. 
Life's but a means unto an end — that end 
Beginning, mean, and end to all things — God. 
The dead have all the glory of the world. 
Why will we live and not be glorious ? 
We never can be deathless till we die. 
It is the dead win battles. And the breath 
Of those who through the world drive like a wedge. 
Tearing earth's empires up, nears Death so close 
It dims his well-worn scythe. But no! the brave 
Die never. Being deathless, they but change 
Their country's arms for more — their country's heart. 
Give then the dead their due : it is they who saved us. 
The rapid and the deep — the fall, the gulph. 
Have likenesses in feeling and in life. 
And life, so varied, hath more loveliness 
In one day than a creeping century 
Of sameness. But youth loves and lives on change. 
Till the soul sighs for sameness; which ut lust 



J248 PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 

Becomes variety, and takes its place. 

Yet some will last to die out, thought by thought, 

And power by power, and limb of mind by limb. 

Like lamps upon a gay device of glass, 

Till all of soul that's left be dry and dark; 

Till even the burden of some ninety years 

Hath crashed into them like a rock; shattered 

Their system as if ninety suns had rushed 

To ruin earth — or heaven had rained its stars; 

Till they become like scrolls, unreadable, 

Through dust and mold. Can thej'- be cleaned and read ? 

Do human spirits wax and wane like moons ? 

Lucifer — The eye dims, and the heart gets old and slow; 
The lithe limbs stiffen, and the sun-hued locks 
Thin themselves off, or whitely wither; still. 
Ages not spirit, even in one point. 
Immeasurably small; from orb to orb, 
Rising in radiance ever like the sun 
Shining upon the thousand lands of earth. 



The Passing-Bell 

CLARA — True prophet mayst thou be. But list: that sound 
The pa.ssing-bell the spirit should solemnize; 
For, while on its emancipate path, the soul 
Still waves its upward wings, and we still hear 
The warning sound, it is known, we well may pray. 
Festus — But pray for whom ? 

Clara — It means not. Pray for all. 

Pray for the good man's soul : 
He is leaving earth for heaven, 
And it soothes us to feel that the best 
May be forgiven. 

Festus — Pray for the sinful soul: 

It fleeth, we know not where; 
But wherever it be let us hope; 
For God is there. 

Clara — Pray for the rich man's soul: 
Not all be unjust, nor vain ; 
The wise he consoled; and he saved 
The poor from pain. 



PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 1249 

Festus — Pray for the poor man's soul: 

The death of this life of ours 
He hath shook from his feet; he is one 
Of the heavenly powers. 

Pray for the old man's soul : 

He hath labored long; through life 
It was battle or march. He hath ceased, 
Se,rene, from strife. 

Clara— Pray for the infant's soul: 

With its spirit crown unsoiled, 
He hath won, without war, a realm; 
Gained all, nor toiled. 

Festus — Pray for the struggling soul: 

The mists of the straits of death 
Clear off; in some bright star-isle 
It anchoreth. 

Pray for the soul assured : 

Though it wrought in a gloomy mine, 
Yet the gems it earned were its own, 
That soul's divine. 

Clara — Pray for the simple soul: 

For it loved, and therein was wise; 
Though itself knew not, but with heaven 
Confused the skies. 

Festus — Pray for the sage's soul: 

'Neath his welkin wide of mind 
Lay the central thought of (iod. 
Thought undefined. 

Pray for the souls of all 

To our God, that all may be 
With forgiveness crowned, and joy 
Eternally. 

Clara — Hush! for the bell hath ceased; 
And the spirit's fate is sealed; 
To the angels known ; to man 
Best unrevealed. 
ni— 79 



I2SO 



philip james bailey 

Thoughts 

FESTUS — Well, farewell, Mr. Student. May you never 
Regret those hours which make the mind, if they 
Unmake the body; for the sooner we 
Are fit to be all mind, the better. Blessed 
Is he whose heart is the home of the great dead. 
And their great thoughts. Who can mistake great 
They seize upon the mind ; arrest and search, [thoughts ? 
And shake it; bow the tall soul as by wind; 
Rush over it like a river over reeds. 
Which quaver in the current; turn us cold. 
And pale, and voiceless; leaving in the brain 
A rocking and a ringing; glorious, 
But momentary, madness might it last. 
And close the soul with heaven as with a seal ! 
In lieu of all these things whose loss thou mournest. 
If earnestly or not I know not, use 
The great and good and true which ever live; 
And are all common to pure eyes and true. 
Upon the summit of each mountain-thought 
Worship thou God, with heaven-uplifted head 
And arms horizon-stretched; for deity is seen 
From every elevation of the soul. 
Study the light; attempt the high; seek out 
The soul's bright path; and since the soul is fire, 
Of heat intelligential, turn it aye 
To the all-Fatherly source of light and life; 
Piety purifies the soul to see 
Visions, perpetually, of grace and power. 
Which, to their sight who in ignorant sin abide, 
Are now as e'er incognizable. Obey 
Thy genius, for a minister it is 
Unto the throne of Fate. Draw towards thy soul, 
And centralize, the rays which are around 
Of the divinity. Keep thy spirit pure 
From worldly taint, by the repellent strength 
Of virtue. Think on noble thoughts and deeds. 
Ever. Count o'er the rosary of truth; 
And practice precepts which are proven wise, 
It matters not then what thou fearest. Walk 
Boldly and wisely in that light thou hast; — 
There is a hand above will help thee on. 
I am an omnist, and believe in all 
Religions; fragments of one golden world 
To be relit yet, and take its place in heaven. 



PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 

Where is the whole, sole truth, in deity. 

Meanwhile, his word, his law, writ soulwise here, 

Study; its truths love; practice its behests — 

They will be with thee when all else have gone. 

Mind, body, passion all wear out; not faith 

Nor truth. Keep thy heart cool, or rule its heat 

To fixed ends; waste it not upon itself. 

Not all the agony maybe of the damned 

Fused in one pang, vies with that earthquake throb 

Which wakens soul from life-waste, to let see 

The world rolled by for aye, and we must wait 

For our next chance the nigh eternity; 

Whether it be in heaven, or elsewhere. 



Dreams 

'ESTUS — The dead of night: earth seems but seeming; 
The soul seems but a something dreaming. 

The bird is dreaming in its nest. 
Of song, and sky, and loved one's breast; 
The lap-dog dreams, as round he lies. 
In moonshine, of his mistress's eyes; 
The steed is dreaming, in his stall. 
Of one long breathless leap and fall ; 
The hawk hath dreamed him thrice of wings 

Wide as the skies he may not cleave ; 
But waking, feels them clipped, and clings 

Mad to the perch 'twere mad to leave : 
The child is dreaming of its toys; 
The murderer, of calm home joys; 
The weak are dreaming endless fears; 
The proud of how their pride appears; 
The poor enthusiast who dies. 
Of his life-dreams the sacrifice. 
Sees, as enthusiast only can. 
The truth that made him more than man; 
And hears once more, in visioncd trance, 
That voice commanding to advance, 
Where wealth is gained — love, wisdom won. 
Or deeds of danger dared and done. 
The mother dreanuth of her child ; 
The maid of him who hath beguiled; 
The youth of her he loves too well; 
The good of God; the ill of hell; 



1251 



1252 PHILIP JAMES BAILEY 

Who live of death ; of life who die ; 
The dead of immortality. 
The earth is dreaming back her youth; 
Hell never dreams, for woe is truth ; 
And heaven is dreaming o'er her prime, 
Long ere the morning stars of time ; 
And dream of heaven alone can I, 
My lovely one, when thou art nigh. 



Chorus of The Saved 
From the Conclusion 

FATHER of goodness, 
Son of love. 
Spirit of comfort. 

Be with us! 
God who hast made us, 
God who hast saved, 
God who hast judged us, 

Thee we praise. 
Heaven our spirits. 
Hallow our hearts; 
Let us have God-light 

Endlessly. 
Ours is the wide world. 
Heaven on heaven ; 
What have we done, Lord, 

Worthy this? 
Oh! we have loved thee; 

That alone 
Maketh our glory, 

Duty, meed. 
Oh ! we have loved thee I 

Love we will 

Ever, and every 

Soul of us. 
God of the saved, 
God of the tried, 
God of the lost ones, 

Be with all! 
Let us be near thee 

Ever and aye ; 
Oh! let us love thee 

Infinite I 



1253 




JOANNA BAILLIE 

(1762-1851) 

Joanna Baillie's early childhood was passed at Bothwell, Scot- 
land, where she was born in 1762. Of this time she drew 
a picture in her well-known birthday lines to her sister: — 

«Dear Agnes, gleamed with joy and dashed with tears, 
O'er us have glided almost sixty years 
Since we on Bothwell's bonny braes were seen. 
By those whose eyes long closed in death have been: 

Two tiny imps, who scarcely stooped to gather 

The slender harebell, or the purple heather; 

No taller than the foxglove's spiky stem, 

That dew of morning studs with silvery gem. 

Then every butterfly that crossed our view 

With joyful shout was greeted as it flew, 

And moth and lady-bird and beetle bright 

In sheeny gold were each a wondrous sight. 

Then as we paddled barefoot, .side by side, 

Among the sunny shallows of the Clyde, 

Minnows or spotted par with twinkling fin, 

Swimming in mazy rings the pool within, 

A thrill of gladness through our bosoms sent 

Seen in the power of early wonderment." ToANNA B.\illie 

When Joanna was six her father was appointed to the charge of 
the kirk at Hamilton. Her early growth went on, not in books, but 
in the fearlessness with which she ran upon the top of walls and 
parapets of bridges and in all daring. *' Look at Miss Jack," said a 
farmer, as she dashed by : " she sits her horse as if it were a bit of 
herself." At eleven she could not read well. *' 'Twas thou," she said 
in lines to her sister — 

«'Twas thou who woo'dst me first to look 
Upon the page of printed hook. 
That thing by me abhorred, and with address 
Didst win me from my thoughtless idleness. 
When all too old become with bootless haste 
In fitful sports the precious time to waste. 
Thy love of tale and story was the stroke 
At which my dormant fancy first awoke. 
And ghosts and witL-lies in my busy brain 
Arose in sombre show, a motley train." 




1254 JOANNA BAILLTE ' 

In 1776 Dr. James Baillie was made Professor of Divinity at Glas- 
gow University. During the two years the family lived in the col- 
lege atmosphere, Joanna first read *Comus,* and, led by the delight 
it awakened, the great epic of Milton. It was here that her vigor 
and disputatious turn of mind *' cast an awe " over her companions. 
After her father's death she settled, in 1784, with her mother and 
brother and sister in London. 

She had made herself familiar with English literature, and above 
all she had studied Shakespeare with enthusiasm. Circumscribed 
now by the brick and mortar of London streets, in exchange for the 
fair views and liberties of her native fruitlands, Joanna found her 
first expression in a volume of < Fugitive Verses,* published in 1790. 
The book caused so little comment that the words of but one friendly 
hand are preserved: that the poems were "truly unsophisticated rep- 
resentations of nature.'* 

Joanna's walk was along calm and unhurried ways. She could 
have had a considerable place in society and the world of "lions" if 
she had cared. The wife of her uncle and name-father, the anato- 
mist Dr. John Hunter, was no other than the famous Mrs. Anne. 
Hunter, a songwright of genius ; her poem < The Son of Alknomook 
Shall Never Complain * is one of the classics of English song, and 
the best rendering of the Indian spirit ever condensed into so small 
a space. She was also a woman of grace and dignity, a power in 
London drawing-rooms, and Haydn set songs of hers to music. But 
the reserved Joanna was tempted to no light triumphs. Eight years 
later was published her first volume of * Plays on the Passions.* It 
contained < Basil,* a tragedy on love; < The Trial,* a comedy on the 
same subject; and * De Montfort,* a tragedy on hatred. 

The thought of essaying dramatic composition had burst upon the 
author one summer afternoon as she sat sewing with her mother. 
She had a high moral purpose in her plan of composition, she said 
in her preface, — that purpose being the ultimate utterance of the 
drama. Plot and incident she set little value upon, and she rejected 
the presentation of the most splendid event if it did not appertain 
to the development of the passion. In other words, what is and was 
commonly of secondary consideration in the swift passage of dra- 
matic action became in her hands the stated and paramount object. 
Feeling and passion are not precipitated by incident in her drama as 
in real life. The play * De Montfort * was presented at Drury Lane 
Theatre in 1800; but in spite of every effort and the acting of John 
Kemble and Mrs. Siddons, it had a run of but eleven nights. 

In 1802 Miss Baillie published her second volume of * Plays on the 
Passions.* It contained a comedy on hatred; *Ethwald,* a tragedy 
on ambition ; and a comedy on ambition. Her adherence to her old 



JOANNA BAILLIE I2ge 

plan brought upon her an attack from Jeffrey in the Edinburgh 
Review. He claimed that the complexity of the moral nature of 
man made Joanna's theory false and absurd, that a play was too nar- 
row to show the complete growth of a passion, and that the end of 
the drama is the entertainment of the audience. He asserted that 
she imitated and plagiarized Shakespeare ; while he admitted her 
insight into human nature, her grasp of character, and her devotion 
to her work. 

About the time of the appearance of this volume, Joanna fixed 
her residence with her mother and sister, among the lanes and fields 
of Hampstead, where they continued throughout their lives. The 
first volume of 'Miscellaneous Plays' came out in 1804. In the pref- 
ace she stated that her opinions set forth in her first preface were 
unchanged. But the plays had a freer construction. "Miss Baillie," 
wrote Jeffrey in his review, " cannot possibly write a tragedy, or an 
act of a tragedy, without showing genius and exemplifying a more 
dramatic conception and expression than any of her modern compet- 
itors." < Constantine Palaeologus, ' which the volume contained, had 
the liveliest commendation and popularity, and was several times put 
upon the stage with spectacular effect. 

In the year of the publication of Joanna's 'Miscellaneous Plays,' 
Sir Walter Scott came to London, and seeking an introduction 
through a common friend, made the way for a lifelong friendship 
between the two. He had just brought out < The Lay of the Last 
Minstrel.* Miss Baillie was already a famous writer, with fast friends 
in Lucy Aikin, Mary Berry, Mrs. Siddons, and other workers in art 
and literature; but the hearty commendation of her countryman, 
which she is said to have come upon unexpectedly when reading 
< Marmion > to a group of friends, she valued beyond other praise. 
The legend is that she read through the passage firmly to the close, 
and only lost self-control in her sympathy with the emotion of a 
friend; — 



« — The wild harp that silent hung 
By silver Avon's holy shore 
Till twice one hundred years rolled o'er. 

When she the bold enchantress came, 
From the pale willow snatched the treasure. 

With fearless hand and heart in flame, 
And swept it with a kindred measure; 
Till Avon's swans, while rung the grove 
With Montfort's hate and Basil's love, 
Awakening at the inspired strain. 
Deemed their own Shakespeare lived again." 



Library oi 
ffc* Church Coltmg^ «/ 1 S ^ ? P 



HawaH 



1256 JOANNA BAILLIE ^ 

The year 18 10 saw *The Family Legend,* a play founded on a 
tragic history of the Campbell clan. Scott wrote a prologue and 
brought out the play in the Edinburgh Theatre. " You have only 
to imagine," he told the author, "all that you could wish to give 
success to a play, and your conceptions will still fall short of the 
complete and decided triumph of *The Family Legend."* 

The attacks which Jeffrey had made upon her verse were con- 
tinued when she published, in 181 2, her third volume of 'Plays on 
the Passions.* His voice, however, did not diminish the admiration 
for the charaoter-drawing with which the book was greeted, or for 
the lyric outbursts occurring now and then in the dramas. 

Joanna's quiet Hampstead life was broken in 1813 by a genial 
meeting in London with the ambitious Madame de Stael, and again 
with the vivacious little Irishwoman, Maria Edgeworth. She was 
keeping her promise of not writing more ; but during a visit to Sir 
Walter in 1820 her imagination was touched by Scotch tales, and she 
published * Metrical Legends * the following year. In this vast Abbots- 
ford she finally consented to meet Jeffrey. The plucky little writer 
and the unshrinking critic at once became friends, and thenceforward 
Jeffrey never went to London without visiting her in Hampstead. 

Her moral courage throughout life recalls the physical courage 
which characterized her youth. She never concealed her religious 
convictions, and in 1831 she published her ideas in *A View of the 
General Tenor of the New Testament Regarding the Nature and 
Dignity of Jesus Christ.* In 1836, having finally given up the long 
hope of seeing her plays become popular upon the stage, she pre- 
pared a complete edition of her dramas with the addition of three 
plays never before made public, — <Romiero,* a tragedy, <The Alien- 
ated Manor,* a comedy on jealousy, and 'Henriquez,* a tragedy on 
remorse. The Edinburgh Review immediately put forth a eulogistic 
notice of the collected edition, and at last admitted that the reviewer 
had changed his judgment, and esteemed the author as a dramatist 
above Byron and Scott. 

"May God support both you and me, and give us comfort and 
consolation when it is most wanted,** wrote Miss Baillie to Mary 
Berry in 1837. "As for myself, I do not wish to be one year 
younger than I am ; and have no desire, were it possible, to begin 
life again, even under the most honorable circumstances. I have 
great cause for humble thankfulness, and I am thankful.** 

In 1840 Jeffrey wrote: — "I have been twice out to Hampstead, 
and found Joanna Baillie as fresh, natural, and amiable as ever, and 
as little like a tragic Muse.** And agaii} in 1842: — "She is marvelous 
in health and spirit; not a bit deaf, blind, or torpid.** About thk 
time she published her last book, a volume of * Fugitive Verses.* 



JOANNA BAILLIE I 25 7 

"A sweeter picture of old age was never seen,'* wrote Harriet 
Martineau. *' Her figure was small, light, and active ; her counte- 
nance, in its expression of serenity, harmonized wonderfully with her 
gay conversation and her cheerful voice. Her eyes were beautiful, 
dark, bright, and penetrating, with the full innocent gaze of child- 
hood. Her face was altogether comely, and her dress did justice 
to it. She wore her own silvery hair and a mob cap, with its delicate 
lace border fitting close around her face. She was well dressed, in 
handsome dark . silks, and her lace caps and collars looked alwaj-s 
new. No Quaker was ever neater, while she kept up with the times 
in her dress as in her habit of mind, as far as became her years. 
In her whole appearance there was always something for even the 
passing stranger to admire, and never anything for the most familiar 
friend to wish otherwise.'* She died, "without suffering, in the full 
possession of her faculties," in her ninetieth year, 185 1. 

Her dramatic and poetical works are collected in one volume 
(1843). Her Life, with selections from her songs, may be found in 
*The Songstress of Scotland,' by Sarah Tytler and J. L. Watson 
(1871). 

WOO'D AND MARRIED AND A' 

THE bride she is winsome and bonny, 
Her hair it is snooded sae sleek, 
And faithfu' and kind is her Johnny, 
Yet fast fa' the tears on her cheek. 
New pearlins are cause of her sorrow, 

New pearlins and plenishing too: 
The bride that has a' to borrow 
Has e'en right mickle ado. 
Woo'd and married and a'! 
Woo'd and married and a'! 
Isna she very weel aff 

To be woo'd and married at a'? 

Her mither then hastily spak: — 

"The lassie is glaikit wi' pride; 
In my pouch I had never a plack 

On the day when I was a bride. 
E'en tak' to your wheel and be clever. 

And draw out your thread in the sun; 
The gear that is gifted, it never 

Will last like the gear tliat is won. 
Woo'd and married and a'! 
Wi' bavins and tocher sae sina'I 



1258 JOANNA BAILLIE ^ 

I think ye are very weel aff 

To be woo'd and married at a' ! '* 

" Toot, toot ! '* quo' her gray-headed f aither, 

"She's less o' a bride than a bairn; 
She's ta'en like a cout frae the heather, 

Wi' sense and discretion to learn. 
Half husband, I trow, and half daddy, 

As humor inconstantly leans. 
The chiel maun be patient and steady 
That yokes wi' a mate in her teens. 
A kerchief sae douce and sae neat, 
O'er her locks that the wind used to blaw! 
I'm baith like to laugh and to greet 
When I think o' her married at a'." 

Then out spak' the wily bridegroom, 

Weel waled were his wordies I ween: — 
** I'm rich, though my coffer be toom, 

Wi' the blinks o' your bonny blue e'en. 
I'm prouder o' thee by my side. 

Though thy ruffles or ribbons be few. 
Than if Kate o' the Croft were my bride, 
Wi' purfles and pearlins enow. 
Dear and dearest of ony! 
Ye're woo'd and buiket and a'! 
And do ye think scorn o' your Johnny, 
And grieve to be married at a' ? ** 

She turn'd, and she blush'd, and she smil'd, 

And she looket sae bashfully down; 
The pride o' her heart was beguil'd, 

And she played wi' the sleeves 0' her gown; 
She twirlet the tag o' her lace, 

And she nippet her bodice sae blue. 
Syne blinket sae sweet in his face, 
And aff like a maukin she flew. 
Woo'd and married and a' ! 
Wi' Johnny to roose her and a'! 
She thinks hersel' very weel aff 
To be woo'd and married at a' ! 



JOANNA BAILLIE 1259 

\ 

IT WAS ON A MORN WHEN WE WERE THRANG 

IT WAS on a morn when we were thrang, 
The kirn it croon'd, the cheese was making, 
And bannocks on the girdle baking, 
When ane at the door chapp't loud and lang. 
Yet the auld gudewife, and her mays sae tight. 
Of a' this bauld din took sma' notice I ween; 
For a chap at the door in braid daylight 
Is no like a chap that's heard at e'en. 

But the docksy auld laird of the Warlock glen, 
Wha waited without, half blate, half cheery. 
And langed for a sight o' his winsome deary. 

Raised up the latch and cam' crousely ben. 

His coat it was new, and his o'erlay was white. 
His mittens and hose were cozie and bien; 

But a wooer that comes in braid daylight 
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en. 

He greeted the carline and lasses sae braw. 

And his bare lyart pow sae smoothly he straikit,' 
And he looket about, like a body half glaikit, 

On bonny sweet Nanny, the youngest of a'. 

"Ha, laird!" quo' the carline, "and look ye that way? 
Fye, let na' sic fancies bewilder you clean : 

An elderlin man, in the noon o' the day. 

Should be wiser than youngsters that come at e'en. 

"Na, na,>* quo' the pawky auld wife, "I trow 

You'll no fash your head wi' a youthfu' gilly, 

As wild and as skeig as a muirland filly: 
Black Madge is far better and fitter for you." 
He hem'd and he haw'd, and he drew in his mouth. 

And he squeezed the blue bannet his twa hands between; 
For a wooer that comes when the sun's i' the south 

Is mair landward than wooers that come at e'en. 

"Black Madge is sae carefu'" — "What's that to me?" 

" She's sober and eydent, has sense in her noodle ; 

She's douce and respeckit " — "I carena a bodle: 
Love winna be guided, and fancy's free." 
Madge toss'd back her head wi' a saucy slight, 

And Nanny, loud laughing, ran out to the green; 
For a wooer that comes when the sun shines bright 

Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en. 



T260 JOANNA BAILLIE 

Then away flung the laird, and loud mutter'd he, 

" A' the daughters of Eve, between Orkney and Tweed O ' 
Black or fair, young or auld, dame or damsel or widow, 

May gang in their pride to the de'il for me ! >* 

But the auld gudewife, and her mays sae tight. 
Cared little for a' his stour banning, I ween; 

For a wooer that comes in braid daylight 
Is no like a wooer that comes at e'en. 



FY, LET US A' TO THE WEDDING 
(An Auld Sang, New Buskit) 

FY, LET us a' to the wedding. 
For they will be lilting there ; 
For Jock's to be married to Maggy, 
The lass wi' the gowden hair. 

And there will be jibing and jeering, 
And glancing of bonny dark een. 

Loud laughing and smooth-gabbit speering 
O" questions baith pawky and keen. 

And there will be Bessy the beauty, 
Wha raises her cockup sae hie, 

And giggles at preachings and duty, — 
Guid grant that she gang na' ajee! 

And there will be auld Geordie Taunner, 
Wha coft a young wife wi' his gowd; 

She'll flaunt wi' a silk gown upon her, 
But wow! he looks dowie and cow'd. 

And brown Tibbey Fouler the Heiress 
Will perk at the tap o' the ha'. 

Encircled wi' suitors, wha's care is 

To catch up her gloves when they fa',— 

Repeat a' her jokes as they're cleckit. 
And haver and glower in her face. 

When tocherless mays are negleckit, — 
A crying and scandalous case. 

And Mysie, wha's clavering aunty 
Wud match her wi' Laurie the Laird, 

And learns the young fule to be vaunty. 
But neither to spin nor to caird. 



JOANNA BAILLIE iggj 

And Andrew, wha's granny is yearning 

To see him a clerical blade. 
Was sent to the college for learning. 

And cam' back a coof as he gaed. 

And there will be auld Widow Martin, 

That ca's hersel thritty and twa! 
And thraw-gabbit Madge, wha for certain 

Was jilted by Hab o' the Shaw. 

And Elspy the sewster sae genty, 

A pattern of havens and sense. 
Will straik on her mittens sae dainty, 

And crack wi' Mess John i' the spence. 

And Angus, the seer o' ferlies, 

That sits on the stane at his door, 
And tells about bogles, and mair lies 

Than tongue ever utter'd before. 

And there will be Bauldy the boaster 

Sae ready wi' hands and wi' tong'ue ; 
Proud Paty and silly Sam Foster, 

Wha quarrel wi' auld and wi' young: 

And Hugh the town-writer, I'm thinking 

That trades in his lawerly skill. 
Will egg on the fighting and drinking 

To bring after-grist to his mill; 

And Maggy — na, na! we'll be civil, 

And let the wee bridie a-be; 
A vilipend tongue is the devil. 

And ne'er was encouraged by me. 

Then fy, let us a' to the wedding. 

For they will be lilting there 
Frae mony a far-distant ha'ding, 

The fun and the feasting to share. 

For they will get sheep's head, and haggit 

And browst o' the barley-mow; 
E'en he that comes latest, and lag is. 

May feast upon dainties enow. 

Veal fliircnliiies in the o'on baken, 
Weel pk-nish'd wi' rai.sins and fat; 



1262 JOANNA BAILLIE 

Beef, mutton, and chuckles, a' taken 
Het reeking frae spit and frae pat: 

And glasses (I trow 'tis na' said ill). 
To drink the young couple good luck, 

Weel fiU'd wi' a braw beechen ladle 
Frae punch-bowl as big as Dumbuck. 

And then will come dancing and daffing, 
And reelin" and crossin' o' hans, 

Till even auld Lucky is laughing, 
As back by the aumry she stans. 

Sic bobbing and flinging and whirling, 
While fiddlers are making their din; 

And pipers are droning and skirling 
As loud as the roar o' the lin. 

Then fy, let us a' to the wedding, 
For they will be lilting there. 

For Jock's to be married to Maggy, 
The lass wi' the gowden hair. 



A 



THE WEARY FUND O' TOW 

YOUNG gudewife is in my house, 

And thrifty means to be. 
But aye she's runnin' to the town 
Some ferlie there to see. 
The weary pund, the weary pund, the weary pund o' tow, 
I soothly think, ere it be spun, I'll wear a lyart pow. 

And when she sets her to her wheel 
To draw her threads wi' care, 

In comes the chapman wi' his gear. 
And she can spin nae mair. 

The weary pund, etc. 

And she, like ony merry may. 

At fairs maun still be seen. 
At kirkyard preachings near the tent. 

At dances on the green. 

The weary pund, et<?. 

Her dainty ear a fiddle charms, 
A bagpipe's her delight, 



JOANNA BAILLIE 1263 

But for the crooning o* her wheel 
She disna care a mite. 

The weary pund, etc. 

You spake, my Kate, of snaw-white webs, 

Made o' your linkum twine, 
But, ah! I fear our bonny bum 

Will ne'er lave web o' thine. 

The weary pund, etc. 

Nay, smile again, my winsome mate ; 

Sic jeering means nae ill ; 
Should I gae sarkless to my grave, 

I'll lo'e and bless thee still. 

The weary pund, etc. 



FROM <DE MONTFORT>: A TRAGEDY 

ACT V — SCENE III 

Moonlight. A wild path in a wood, shaded with trees. Enter De Mont- 
fort, with a strong expression of disquiet, mixed with fear, upon his 
face, looking behind him, and bending his ear to the ground, as if 
he listened to something. 

DE MoNTFORT — How hoUow gToaus the earth beneath 
my tread : 
Is there an echo here ? Methinks it sounds 
As though some heavy footsteps followed me. 
I will advance no farther. 
Deep settled shadows rest across the path, 
And thickly-tangled boughs o'erhang this spot. 
O that a tenfold gloom did cover it. 
That 'mid the murky darkness I might strike! 
As in the wild confusion of a dream. 
Things horrid, bloody, terrible do pass, 
As though they passed not; nor impress the mind 
With the fixed clearness of reality. 

\An 07vl is heard screaming near him. 
{Starting. ] What sound is that ? 

[Listens, and the ini'l cries again. 
It is the screech-owl's cry. 
Foul bird of night! What spirit guides thee here? 



1264 JOANNA BAILLIE 

Art thou instinctive drawn to scenes of horror ? 
I've heard of this. 

\Pauses and listens. 
How those fallen leaves so rustle on the path, 
With whispering noise, as though the earth around me 
Did utter secret things. 
The distant river, too, bears to mine ear 
A dismal wailing. O mysterious night! 
Thou art not silent; many tongues hast thou. 
A distant gathering blast sounds through the wood, 
And dark clouds fleetly hasten o'er the sky; 
Oh that a storm would rise, a raging storm; 
Amidst the roar of warring elements 
I'd lift my hand and strike ! but this pale light. 
The calm distinctness of each stilly thing, 
Is terrible. — [Sfarting.'\ Footsteps, and near me, too! 
He comes! he comes! I'll watch him farther on — 
I cannot do it here. 

{Exit. 

Enter Rezenvelt, and continues his way slcnvly from the bottom of the 
stage ; as he advances to the front, the owl screams, he stops and 
listens, and the owl screams again. 

Rezenvelt — Ha! does the night-bird greet me on my way? 
How much his hooting is in harmony 
With such a scene as this! I like it well. 
Oft when a boy, at the still twilight hour, 
I've leant my back against some knotted oak. 
And loudly mimicked him, till to my call 
He answer would return, and through the gloom 
We friendly converse held. 
Between me and the star-bespangled sky, 
Those aged oaks their crossing branches wave, 
And throtigh them looks the pale and placid moon. 
How like a crocodile, or winged snake. 
Yon sailing cloud bears on its dusky length! 
And now transformed by the passing wind, 
Methinks it seems a flying Pegasus. 
Ay, but a shapeless band of blacker hue 
Comes swiftly after. — 

A hollow murm'ring wind sounds through the trees; 
I hear it from afar; this bodes a storm. 
I must not linger here — 




MUb. SIDDUNS AS TllK TKAGIC MU8K 
from I'uint'iny bj Hir Jushuti K(.yHoiii!- 



JOANNA BAILLIE ,265 

[A bell heard at some distance.^ The convent bell. 
'Tis distant still : it tells their hour of prayer. 
It sends a solemn sound upon the breeze, 
That, to a fearful, superstitious mind, 
In such a scene, would like a death-knell come. 

\Exit. 



TO MRS. SIDDONS 

GIFTED of heaven! who hast, in days gone by. 
Moved every heart, delighted every eye; 
While age and youth, of high and low degree, 
In sympathy were joined, beholding thee. 
As in the Drama's ever-changing scene 
Thou heldst thy splendid state, our tragic queen! 
No barriers there thy fair domains confined, 
Thy sovereign sway was o'er the human mind; 
And in the triumph of that witching hour. 
Thy lofty bearing well became thy power. 

The impassioned changes of thy beauteous face, 
Thy stately form, and high imperial grace ; 
Thine arms impetuous tossed, thy robe's wide flow, 
And the dark tempest gathered on thy brow ; 
What time thy flashing eye and lip of scorn 
Down to the dust thy mimic foes have borne; 
Remorseful musings, sunk to deep dejection, 
The fixed and yearning looks of strong affection ; 
The active turmoil a wrought bosom rending. 
When pity, love, and honor, are contending; — 
They who beheld all this, right well, I ween, 
A lovely, grand, and wondrous sight have seen. 

Thy varied accents, rapid, fitful, slow. 
Loud rage, and fear's snatched whisper, quick and low: 
The burst of stifled love, the wail of grief. 
And tones of high command, full, solemn, brief; 
The change of voice, and emphasis that threw 
Light on obscurity, and brought to view 
Distinctions nice, when grave or comic mood, 
Or mingled humors, terse and new, elude 
Common perception, as earth's smallest things 
To size and form the vesting hoar-frost brings. 
That seenu-d as if some secret voice, to clear 
'I'lu- raveU'd nu-aniug, whispered in thine car, 
ai— 80 



1266 JOANNA BAILLIE 

And thou hadst e'en with him communion kept, 

Who hath so long in Stratford's chancel slept; 

Whose lines, where nature's brightest traces shine, 

Alone were worthy deemed of powers like thine ; — 

They who have heard all this, have proved full well 

Of soul-exciting sound the mightiest spell. 

But though time's lengthened shadows o'er thee glide. 

And pomp of regal state is cast aside. 

Think not the glory of thy course is spent, 

There's moonlight radiance to thy evening lent. 

That to the mental world can never fade. 

Till all who saw thee, in the grave are laid. 

Thy graceful form still moves in nightly dreams, 

And what thou wast, to the lulled sleeper seems; 

While feverish fancy oft doth fondly trace 

Within her curtained couch thy wondrous face. 

Yea; and to many a wight, bereft and lone, 

In musing hours, though all to thee unknown. 

Soothing his earthly course of good and ill. 

With all thy potent charm, thou actest still. 

And now in crowded room or rich saloon. 

Thy stately presence recognized, how soon 

On thee the glance of many an eye is cast, 

In grateful memory of pleasures past! 

Pleased to behold thee, with becoming grace, 

Take, as befits thee well, an honored place; 

Where blest by many a heart, long mayst thou stand. 

Among the virtuous matrons of our land! 



T 



A SCOTCH SONG 

HE gowan glitters on the sward. 
The lavrock's in the sky. 
And collie on my plaid keeps ward, 
And time is passing by. 
Oh no! sad and slow 

And lengthened on the ground, 
The shadow of our trysting bush 
It wears so slowly round! 

My sheep-bell tinkles frae the west. 
My lambs are bleating near. 

But still the sound that I lo'e best, 
Alack! I canna' hear. 



JOANNA BAILLIE 1267 

Oh no! sad and slow, 

The shadow lingers still, 
And like a lanely ghaist I stand 

And croon upon the hill. 

I hear below the water roar, 
The mill wi' clacking din. 
And Lucky scolding frae her door, 
To ca' the baimies in. 
Oh no ! sad and slow. 

These are na' sounds for me, 
The shadow of our trysting bush, 
It creeps sa drearily! 

I coft yestreen, frae Chapman Tam, 

A snood of bonny blue. 
And promised when our trysting cam'. 
To tie it round her brow. 
Oh no! sad and slow. 

The mark it winna' pass; 
The shadow of that weary thorn 
Is tethered on the grass. 

Oh, now I see her on the way, 

She's past the witch's knowe. 
She's climbing up the Browny's brae, 
My heart is in a lowe! 
Oh no! 'tis no' so, 

'Tis glam'rie I have seen; 
The shadow of that hawthorn bush 
Will move na' mair till e'en. 

My book o' grace I'll try to read. 
Though conn'd wi' little skill. 
When collie barks I'll raise my head, 
And find her on the hill. 
Oh no! sad and slow. 

The time will ne'er be gane, 
The shadow of the trysting bush 
Is fixed like ony stane. 



5268 JD/JIKA BAILLIE ' 

SONG, < POVERTY PARTS GOOD COMPANY > 

For an old Scotch Air 

WHEN my o'erlay was white as the foam o' the lin, 
And siller was chinkin my pouches within, 
When my lambkins were bleatin on meadow anr" 
brae, 
As I went to my love in new deeding sae gay, 
Kind was she, and my friends were free. 
But poverty parts good company. 

How swift passed the minutes and hours of delight, 
When piper played cheerly, and crusie burned bright, 
And linked in my hand was the maiden sae dear. 
As she footed the floor in her holyday gear! 

Woe is me; and can it then be, 

That poverty parts sic company ? 

We met at the fair, and we met at the kirk. 

We met i' the sunshine, we met i' the mirk; 

And the sound o' her voice, and the blinks o' her een. 

The cheerin and life of my bosom hae been. 

Leaves frae the tree at Martinmass flee. 

And poverty parts sweet company. 

At bridal and infare I braced me wi' pride. 
The broose I hae won, and a kiss o' the bride; 
And loud was the laughter good fellows among, 
As I uttered my banter or chorused my song; 

Dowie and dree are jestin and glee. 

When poverty spoils good company. 

Wherever I gaed, kindly lasses looked sweet. 
And mithers and aunties were unco discreet; 
While kebbuck and bicker were set on the board: 
But now they pass by me, and never a word! 

Sae let it be, for the worldly and slee 

Wi' poverty keep nae company. 

But the hope of my love is a cure for its smart. 
And the spae-wife has tauld me to keep up my hear". 
For, wi' my last saxpence, her loof I hae crost, 
And the bliss that is fated can never be lost, . 

Though cruelly we may ilka day see 

How poverty parts dear company. 



JOANNA BAILLIE 1269 



THE KITTEN 

WANTON droll, whose harmless play 
Beguiles the rustic's closing day, 
When, drawn the evening fire about, 
Sit aged crone and thoughtless lout, 
And child upon his three-foot stool. 
Waiting until his supper cool. 
And maid whose cheek outblooms the rose, 
As bright the blazing fagot glows. 
Who, bending to the friendly light. 
Plies her task with busy sleight, — 
Come, show thy tricks and sportive graces. 
Thus circled round with merry faces! 
Backward coiled and crouching low, 
With glaring eyeballs watch thy foe. 
The housewife's spindle whirling round. 
Or thread or straw that on the ground 
Its shadow throws, by urchin sly 
Held out to lure thy roving eye; 
Then stealing onward, fiercely spring 
Upon the tempting, faithless thing. 
Now, wheeling round with bootless skill. 
Thy bo-peep tail provokes thee still. 
As still beyond thy curving side 
Its jetty tip is seen to glide; 
Till from thy centre starting far. 
Thou sidelong veer'st with rump in air 
Erected stiff, and gait awry. 
Like madam in her tantrums high ; 
Though ne'er a madam of them all. 
Whose silken kirtle sweeps the hall. 
More varied trick and whim displays 
To catch the admiring stranger's gaze. 
Doth power in measured verses dwell, 
All thy vagaries wild to tell ? 
Ah, no! the start, tlie jet, the bound. 
The giddy scamper round and round. 
With leap and toss and high curvet. 
And many a whirling somerset, 
(I'crmitted by the modern muse 
Expression teciinical to use) — 
These mock the deftest rhymester's skill. 
Hut poor ill art, tlinugh rich in will. 



1270 JOANNA BAILLIE 

The featest tumbler, stage bedight, 
To thee is but a clumsy wight, 
Who every limb and sinew strains 
To do what costs thee little pains; 
For which, I trow, the gaping crowd 
Requite him oft with plaudits loud. 

But, stopped the while thy wanton play, 
Applauses too thy pains repay: 
For then, beneath some urchin's hand 
With modest pride thou takest thy stand. 
While many a stroke of kindness glides 
Along thy back and tabby sides. 
Dilated swells thy glossy fur, 
■ And loudly croons thy busy purr, 
As, timing well the equal sound, 
Thy clutching feet bepat the ground, 
And all their harmless claws disclose 
Like prickles of an early rose. 
While softly from thy whiskered cheek 
Thy half-closed eyes peer, mild and meek. 

But not alone by cottage fire 

Do rustics rude thy feats admire. 

The learned sage, whose thoughts explore 

The widest range of human lore, 

Or with unfettered fancy fly 

Through airy heights of poesy, 

Rausing smiles with altered air 

To see thee climb his elbow-chair. 

Or, struggling on the mat below, 

Hold warfare with his slippered toe. 

The widowed dame or lonely maid. 

Who, in the still but cheerless shade 

Of home unsocial, spends her age, 

And rarely turns a lettered page. 

Upon her hearth for thee lets fall 

The rounded cork or paper ball. 

Nor chides thee on thy wicked watch. 

The ends of raveled skein to catch. 

But lets thee have thy wayward will. 

Perplexing oft her better skill. 

E'en he whose mind, of gloomy bent. 
In lonely tower or prison pent, 



JOANNA BAILLIE ijyi 

Reviews the coil of former days, 
And loathes the world and all its ways, 
What time the lamp's unsteady gleam 
Hath roused him from his moody dream. 
Feels, as thou gambol'st round his seat, 
His heart of pride less fiercely beat, 
And smiles, a link in thee to find 
That joins it still to living kind. 

Whence hast thou then, thou witless puss! 

The magic power to charm us thus ? 

Is it that in thy glaring eye 

And rapid movements we descry — 

Whilst we at ease, secure from ill. 

The chimney corner snugly fill — 

A lion darting on his prey, 

A tiger at his ruthless play ? 

Or is it that in thee we trace. 

With all thy varied wanton grace. 

An emblem, viewed With kindred eye 

Of tricky, restless infancy ? 

Ah ! many a lightly sportive child. 

Who hath like thee our wits beguiled. 

To dull and sober manhood grown. 

With strange recoil our hearts disown. 

And so, poor kit! must thou endure, 

When thou becom'st a cat demure, 

Full many a cuff and angry word, 

Chased roughly from the tempting board. 

But yet, for that thou hast, I ween, 

So oft our favored playmate been, 

Soft be the change which thou shalt prove J 

When time hath spoiled thee of our love, 

Still be thou deemed by housewife fat 

A comely, careful, mousing cat, 

Whose dish is, for the public good. 

Replenished oft with savory food. 

Nor, when thy span of life is past. 

Be thou to pond or dung-hill cast. 

But, gently borne on goodman's spade, 

Beneath the decent sod be laid; 

And children show with glistening eyes 

The place where poor old pussy lies. 



1272 




HENRY MARTYN BAIRD 

(1 832-) 

Ihat stirring period of the history of F'rance which in certain 
of its features has been made so familiar by Dumas 
through the < Three Musketeers ^ series and others of his 
fascinating novels, is that which has been the theme of Dr. Baird in 
the substantial work to which so many years of his life have been 
devoted. It is to the elucidation of one portion only of the history 
of this period that he has given himself; but although in this, the 
story of the Huguenots, nominally only a matter of religious belief 

was involved, it in fact embraced almost 
the entire internal politics of the nation, 
and the struggles for supremacy of its 
ambitious families, as well as the effort 
to achieve religious freedom. 

In these separate but related works the 
incidents of the whole Protestant move- 
ment have been treated. The first of 
these, * The History of the Rise of the Hu- 
guenots in France* (1879), carries the story 
to the time of Henry of Valois (1574), cov- 
ering the massacre of St. Bartholomew; 
the second, <The Huguenots and Henry 
of Navarre' (1886), covers the Protestant 
ascendency and the Edict of Nantes, and ends with the assassination 
of Henry in 1610; and the third, < The Huguenots and the Revoca- 
tion of the Edict of Nantes* (1895), completes the main story, and 
indeed brings the narrative down to a date much later than the title 
seems to imply. 

It may be said, perhaps, that Dr. Baird holds a brief for the 
plaintiff in the case ; but his work does not produce the impression 
of being that of a violently prejudiced, although an interested, writer. 
He is cool and careful, writing with precision, and avoiding even the 
effects which the historian may reasonably feel himself entitled to 
produce, and of which the period naturally offers so many. 

Henry Martyn Baird was born in Philadelphia, January 17th, 
1832, and was educated at the University of the City of New York 
and the University of Athens, and at Union and Princeton Theo- 
logical Seminaries. In 1855 he became a tutor at Princeton; and in 
the following year he published an interesting volume on < Modern 




Henry M. Baird 



HENRY MARTYN BAIRD I 2 73 

Greece, a Narrative of Residence and Travel.' In 1859 he was ap- 
pointed to the chair of Greek Language and Literature in the Uni- 
versity of the City of New York. 

In addition to the works heretofore named, he is the author of a 
biography of his father, Robert Baird, D. D. 



THE BATTLE OF IVRY 

From <The Huguenots and Henry of Navarre >■. copyright 1886, by Charles 

Scribner's Sons 

THE battle began with a furious cannonade from the King's 
artillery, so prompt that nine rounds of shot had been fired, 
before the enemy were ready to replj^ so well directed that 
great havoc was made in the opposing lines. Next, the light 
horse of M. de Rosne, upon the extreme right of the Leaguers, 
made a dash upon Marshal d'Aumont, but were valiantly received. 
Their example was followed by the German reitcrs, who threw 
themselves upon the defenders of the King's artillery and upon 
the light horse of Aumont, who came to their relief; then, after 
their customary fashion, wheeled around, expecting to pass easily 
through the gaps between the friendly corps of Mayenne and 
Egmont, and to reload their firearms at their leisure in the rear, 
by way of preparation for a second charge. 

Owing to the blunder of Tavannes, however, they met a ser- 
ried line of horse where they looked for an open field; and the 
Walloon cavalry found themselves compelled to set their lances 
in threatening position to ward off the dangerous onset of their 
retreating allies. Another charge, made by a squadron of the 
Walloon lancers themselves, was bravely met by Baron Biron. 
His example was imitated by the Duke of Montpensier farther 
down the field. Although the one leader was twice wounded, 
and the other had his horse killed under him, both ultimately 
succeeded in repulsing the enemy. 

It was about this time that the main body of Henry's horse 
became engaged with the gallant array of cavalry in their front. 
Mayenne had placed upon the left of his scjuadron a body of four 
hundred mounted carabineers. These, advancing first, rode rap- 
idly toward the King's line, took aim, and discharged their weapons 
with deadly effect within twenty-five paces. Immediately after- 
ward the main force of eighteen hundred lancers ])rcsentcd them- 
selves. The King had fastened a great white plume to his helmet, 



1274 



HENRY MARTYN BAIRD 



and had adorned his horse's head with another, equally conspic- 
uous. " Comrades ! " he now exclaimed to those about him, " Com- 
rades! God is for us! There are his enemies and ours! If you 
lose sight of your standards, rally to my white plume; you will 
find it on the road to victory and to honor." The Huguenots had 
knelt after their fashion; again Gabriel d'Amours had offered for 
them a prayer to the God of battles: but no Joyeuse dreamed of 
suspecting that they were meditating surrender or flight. The 
King, with the brave Huguenot minister's prediction of victory 
still ringing in his ears, plunged into the thickest of the fight, 
two horses' length ahead of his companions. That moment he 
forgot that he was King of France and general-in-chief, both in 
one, and fought as if he were a private soldier. It was indeed 
a bold venture. True, the enemy, partly because of the con- 
fusion induced by the reiters, partly from the rapidity of the 
King's movements, had lost in some measure the advantage they 
should have derived from their lances, and were compelled to 
rely mainly upon their swords, as against the firearms of their 
opponents. Still, they outnumbered the knights of the King's 
squadron more than as two to one. No wonder that some of 
the latter flinched and actually turned back; especially when the 
standard-bearer of the King, receiving a deadly wound in the 
face, lost control of his horse, and went riding aimlessly about 
the field, still grasping the banner in grim desperation. But the 
greater number emulated the courage of their leader. The white 
plume kept them in the road to victory and to honor. Yet even 
this beacon seemed at one moment to fail them. Another cav- 
alier, who had ostentatiously decorated his helmet much after the 
same fashion as the King, was slain in the hand-to-hand conflict, 
and some, both of the Huguenots and of their enemies, for a 
time supposed the great Protestant champion himself to have 
fallen. 

But although fiercely contested, the conflict was not long. 
The troopers of Mayenne wavered, and finally fled. Henry of 
Navarre emerged from the confusion, to the great relief of his 
anxious followers, safe and sound, covered with dust and blood 
not his own. More than once he had been in great personal 
peril. On his return from the mel^e, he halted, with a handful 
of companions, under the pear-trees indicated beforehand as a 
rallying-point, when he was descried and attacked by three 
bands of Walloon horse that had not yet engaged in the fight. 



HENRY MARTYN BAIRD I 275 

Only his own valor and the timely arrival of some of his troops 
saved the imprudent monarch from death or captivity. 

The rout of Mayenne's principal corps was quickly followed 
by the disintegration of his entire army. The Swiss auxiliaries 
of the League, though compelled to surrender their flags, were, 
as ancient allies of the crown, admitted to honorable terms of 
capitulation. To the French, who fell into the King's hands, he 
was equally clement. Indeed, he spared no efforts to save their 
lives. But it was otherwise with the German lansquenets. Their 
treachery at Arques, where they had pretended to come over to 
the royal side only to turn upon those who had believed theif 
protestations and welcomed them to their ranks, was yet fresh 
in the memory of all. They received no mercy at the King's 
hands. 

Gathering his available forces together, and strengthened by 
the accession of old Marshal Biron, who had been compelled, 
much against his will, to remain a passive spectator while others 
fought, Henry pursued the remnants of the army of the League 
many a mile to Mantes and the banks of the Seine. If their 
defeat by a greatly inferior force had been little to the credit of 
either the generals or the troops of the League, their precipitate 
flight was still less decorous. The much-vaunted Flemish lancers 
distinguished themselves, it was said, by not pausing until they 
found safety beyond the borders of France; and Mayenne, never 
renowned for courage, emulated or surpassed them in the eager- 
ness he displayed, on reaching the little town from which the 
battle took its name, to put as many leagues as possible between 
himself and his pursuers. "The enemy thus ran away," says the 
Englishman William Lyly, who was an eye-witness of the battle; 
" Mayenne to Ivry, where the Walloons and reiters followed so 
fast that there standing, hasting to draw breath, and not able to 
speak, he was constrained to draw his sword to strike the flyers 
to make place for his own flight." 

The battle had been a short one. Between ten and elcvea 
o'clock the first attack was made; in less than an hour the army 
of the League was routed. It had been a glorious action for the 
King and his old Huguenots, and not less for the loyal Roman 
Catholics who clung to him. None seemed discontented but old 
Marshal Biron, wh(j, when he met the King coming out of the 
fray with battered armor and blunted sword, could not help con- 
trasting the oi)portuiiity his Majesty had enjoyed to distinguisli 



1276 



HENRY MARTYN BAIRD 



himself with his own enforced inactivity, and exclaimed, " Sire, 
this is not right! You have to-day done what Biron ought to 
have done, and he has done what the King should have done.* 
But even Biron was unable to deny that the success of the royal 
arms surpassed all expectation, and deserved to rank among the 
wonders of history. The preponderance of the enemy in num- 
bers had been great. There was no question that the impetuous 
attacks of their cavalry upon the left wing of the King were for 
a time almost successful. The official accotmts might conven- 
iently be silent upon the point, but the truth could not be dis- 
guised that at the moment Henry plunged into battle a part of 
his line was grievously shaken, a part was in full retreat, and 
the prospect was dark enough. Some of his immediate followers, 
indeed, at this time turned countenance and were disposed to 
flee, whereupon he recalled them to their duty with the words, 
*' Look this way, in order that if you will not fight, at least you 
may see me die." But the steady and determined courage of the 
King, well seconded by soldiers not less brave, turned the tide of 
battle. "The enemy took flight," says the devout Duplessis 
Mornay, "terrified rather b)^ God than by men; for it is certain 
that the one side was not less shaken than the other." And with 
the flight of the cavalry, Mayenne's infantry, constituting, as has 
been seen, three-fourths of his entire army, gave up the day as 
lost, without striking a blow for the cause they had come to sup- 
port. How many men the army of the League lost in killed and 
wounded it is difficult to say. The Prince of Parma reported to 
his master the loss of two hundred and seventy of the Flemish 
lancers, together with their commander, the Count of Egmont. 
The historian De Thou estimates the entire number of deaths on 
the side of the League, including the combatants that fell in the 
battle and the fugitives drowned at the crossing of the river 
Eure, by Ivry, at eight hundred. The official account, on the 
other hand, agrees with Marshal Biron, in stating that of the 
cavalry alone more than fifteen hundred died, and adds that four 
hundred were taken prisoners; while Davila swells the total of 
the slain to the incredible sum of upward of six thousand men. 



1277 



SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER 
(1821-1893) 




jHE Northwest Passage, the Pole itself, and the sources of the 
Nile — how many have struggled through ice and snow, or 
burned themselves with tropic heat , in the effort to penetrate 
these secrets of the earth ! And how many have left their bones to 
whiten on the desert or lie hidden beneath icebergs at the end of 
the search ! 

Of the fortunate ones who escaped after many perils, Baker was 
one of the most fortunate. He explored the Blue and the White Nile, 
discovered at least one of the reservoirs 
from which flows the great river of Egypt, 
and lived to tell the tale and to receive due 
honor, being knighted by the Queen there- 
for, feted by learned societies, and sent 
subsequently by the Khedive at the head 
of a large force with commission to destroy 
the slave trade. In this he appears to have 
been successful for a time, but for a time 
only. 

Baker was born in London, June 8th, 
1 82 1, and died December 30th, 1893. With 
his brother he established, in 1847, a settle- 
ment in the mountains of Ceylon, where he 
spent several years. His experiences in the far East appear in books 
entitled *The Rifle and Hound in Ceylon* and * Eight Years Wander- 
ing in Ceylon.* In 1861, accompanied by his young wife and an 
escort, he started up the Nile, and three years later, on the 14th of 
March, 1864, at length reached the clilTs overlooking the Albert 
Nyanza, being the first European to behold its waters. Like most 
Englishmen, he was an enthusiastic sportsman, and his manner of 
life afforded him a great variety of unusual experiences. He visited 
Cyprus in 1879, after the execution of the convention between Eng- 
land and Turkey, and subsequently he traveled to Syria, India, Japan, 
and America. He kept voluminous notes of his various journeys, 
which he utilized in the preparation of numerous volumes:--' The 
Albert Nyanza'; 'The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia*; 'Isnuiilia.' a 
narrative of the expedition under the auspices of the Khedive; 'Cy- 
prus as I Saw It in 1879'; logetiier with 'Wild Beasts and Tlieir 
Ways,' 'True Tales fi)r My tlrandsons,' and u story entitled 'Cast Up 




""^S^ 



Sir Samuel Bakf.r 



1278 



SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER 



by the Sea, > which was for many years a great favorite with the 
boys of England and America. They are all full of life and incident. 
One of the most delightful memories of them which readers retain is 
the figure of his lovely wife, so full of courage, loyalty, buoyancy, 
and charm. He had that rarest of possibilities, spirit-stirring ad- 
venture and home companionship at once. 



HUNTING IN ABYSSINIA 
From <The Nile Tributaries of Abyssinia > 

ON ARRIVAL at the camp, I resolved to fire the entire country 
on the follow^ing day, and to push still farther up the 
course of the Settite to the foot of the mountains, and to 
return to this camp in about a fortnight, by v^^hich time the ani- 
mals that had been scared away by the fire would have returned. 
Accordingly, on the following morning, accompanied by a few of 
the aggageers, I started upon the south bank of the river, and 
rode for some distance into the interior, to the ground that was 
entirely covered with high withered grass. We were passing 
through a mass of kittar thorn bush, almost hidden by the im- 
mensely high grass, when, as I was ahead of the party, I came 
suddenly upon the tracks of rhinoceros; these were so unmis- 
takably recent that I felt sure we were not far from the animals 
themselves. As I had wished to fire the grass, I was accom- 
panied by my Tokrooris, and my horse-keeper, Mahomet No. 2. 
It was difficult ground for the men, and still more unfavorable 
for the horses, as large disjointed masses of stone were concealed 
in the high grass. 

We were just speculating as to the position of the rhinoceros, 
and thinking how uncommonly unpleasant it would be should he 
obtain our wind, when whiff! whiff! whiff! we heard the sharp 
whistling snort, with a tremendous rush through the high grass 
and thorns close to its; and at the same moment two of these 
determined brutes were upon us in full charge. I never saw 
such a scrimmage; sauve qui pent! There was no time for 
more than one look behind. I dug the spurs into Aggahr's 
flanks, and clasping him round the neck, I ducked my head 
down to his shoulder, well protected with my strong hunting 
cap, and I kept the spurs going as hard as I could ply them, 
blindly trusting to Providence and my good horse, over big rocks, 



SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER I 270 

fallen trees, thick kittar thorns, and grass ten feet high, with 
the two infernal animals in full chase only a few feet behind me. 
I heard their abominable whiffing close to me, but so did my 
horse also, and the good old hunter flew over obstacles that I 
should have thought impossible, and he dashed straight under 
the hooked thorn bushes and doubled like a hare. The aggageers 
were all scattered; Mahomet No. 2 was knocked over by a rhi- 
noceros; all the men were sprawling upon the rocks with their 
guns, and the party was entirely discomfited. Having passed the 
kittar thorn, I turned, and seeing that the beasts had gone 
straight on, I brought Aggahr's head round, and tried to give 
chase, but it was perfectly impossible; it was only a wonder that 
the horse had escaped in ground so difficult for riding. Although 
my clothes were of the strongest and coarsest Arab cotton cloth, 
which seldom tore, but simply lost a thread when caught in a 
thorn, I was nearly naked. My blouse was reduced to .shreds; 
as I wore sleeves only half way from the shoulder to the elbow, 
my naked arms were streaming with blood; fortunately my hunt- 
ing cap was secured with a chin strap, and still more fortunately 
I had grasped the horse's neck, otherwise I must have been 
dragged out of the saddle by the hooked thorns. All the men 
were cut and bruised, some having fallen upon their heads 
amon^ the rocks, and others had hurt their legs in falling in 
their endeavors to escape. Mahomet No. 2, the horse-keeper, 
was more frightened than hurt, as he had been knocked down by 
the shoulder, and not by the horn of the rhinoceros, as the 
animal had not noticed him: its attention was absorbed by the 
horse. 

I determined to set fire to the whole country immediately, 
and descending the hill toward the river to obtain a favorable 
wind, I put my men in a line, extending over about a mile 
along the river's bed, and they fired the grass in different places. 
With a loud roar, the flame leaped high in air and rushed for- 
ward with astonishing velocity; the grass was as inflammable as 
tinder, and the strong north wind drove the long line of fire 
spreading in every direction through the country. 

We now crossed to the other side of the river to avoid the 
flames, and we returned toward the camp. On the way I made 
a long shot and badly wounded a t6tv\, but lost it in thick 
thorns; shortly after, I stalked a nellut (,1. Strrpsuiros), and 
bagged it with the Fletcher rifle. 



l28o SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER t 

We arrived early in camp, and on the following day we moved 
sixteen miles farther up stream, and camped under a tamarind- 
tree by the side of the river. No European had ever been 
farther than our last camp, Delladilla, and that spot had only 
been visited by Johann Schmidt and Florian. In the previous 
year, my aggageers had sabred some of the Base at this very 
camping-place; they accordingly requested me to keep a vigilant 
watch during the night, as they would be very likely to attack 
us in revenge, unless they had been scared by the rifles and by 
the size of our party. They advised me not to remain long in 
this spot, as it would be very dangerous for my wife to be left 
almost alone during the day, when we were hunting, and that the 
Base would be certain to espy us from the mountains, and would 
most probably attack and carry her off when they were assured 
of our departure. She was not very nervous about this, but she 
immediately called the dragoman, Mahomet, who knew the use 
of a gun, and she asked him if he would stand by her in case 
they were attacked in my absence ; the faithful servant replied, 
** Mahomet fight the Base? No, Missus; Mahomet not fight; if 
the Base come, Missus fight; Mahomet rim away; Mahomet not 
come all the way from Cairo to get him killed b}^ black fellers; 
Mahomet will run — Inshallah!" (Please God.) 

This frank avowal of his military tactics was very reassuring. 
There was a high hill of basalt, something resembling a pyramid, 
within a quarter of a mile of us; I accordingly ordered some of 
my men every day to ascend this look-out station, and I resolved 
to burn the high grass at once, so as to destroy all cover for the 
concealment of an enemy. That evening I very nearly burned 
our camp; I had several times ordered the men to clear away 
the dry grass for about thirt)'- yards from our resting-place; this 
they had neglected to obey. We had been joined a few days 
before by a party of about a dozen Hamran Arabs, who were 
hippopotami hunters; thus we mustered very strong, and it would 
have been the work of about half an hour to have cleared away 
the grass as I had desired. 

The wind was brisk, and blew directly toward our camp, 
which was backed by the river. I accordingly took a fire-stick, 
and I told my people to look sharp, as they would not clear 
away the grass. I walked to the foot of the basalt hill, and fired 
the grass in several places. In an instant the wind swept the 
flame and smoke toward the camp. All was confusion; the Arabs 



SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER 128 1 

had piled the camel-saddles and all their com and effects in the 
high grass about twenty yards from the tent; there was no time 
to remove all these things; therefore, unless they could clear 
away the grass so as to stop the fire before it should reach the 
spot, they would be punished for their laziness by losing their 
property. The fire traveled quicker than I had expected, and, 
by the time I had hastened to the tent, I found the entire party 
working frantically; the Arabs were slashing down the grass with 
their swords, and sweeping it away with their shields, while my 
Tokrooris were beating it down with long sticks and tearing it 
from its withered and fortunately tinder-rotten roots, in desperate 
haste. The flames rushed on, and we already felt the heat, as 
volumes of smoke enveloped us; I thought it advisable to carry 
the gunpowder (about 20 lbs.) down to the river, together with 
the rifles; while my wife and Mahomet dragged the various arti- 
cles of luggage to the same place of safety. The fire now 
approached within about sixty yards, and dragging out the iron 
pins, I let the tent fall to the ground. The Arabs had swept a 
line like a high-road perfectly clean, and they were still tearing 
away the grass, when they were suddenly obliged to rush back 
as the flames arrived. 

Almost instantaneously the smoke blew over us, but the fire 
had expired upon meeting the cleared ground. I now gave them 
a little lecture upon obedience to orders; and from that day, 
their first act upon halting for the night was to clear away the 
grass, lest I should repeat the entertainment. In countries that 
are covered with dry grass, it should be an invariable rule to 
clear the ground around the camp before night; hostile natives 
will fre(|uently fire the grass to windward of a party, or careless 
servants may leave their pipes upon the ground, which fanned 
by the wind would quickly create a blaze. That night the 
mountain afforded a beautiful ajjpearancc as the flames ascended 
the steep sides, and ran flickering up the deep gullies with a 
Ijrilliant light. 

We were standing outside the tent admiring the scene, which 
perfectly illuminated the neighborhood, when suddenly an api)ari- 
tion of a lion and lioness stood for an instant before us at about 
fifteen yards distance, and then disappeared over the blackened 
ground before I liad time to snatch a rifle from tlie tent. No 
doubt they had been disturbed from tlie mountain by tlie (ire, 
and had mistaken their way in tlie louutry so recently changed 
111-81 



1282 SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER 

from high grass to black ashes. In this locality I considered it 
advisable to keep a vigilant watch during the night, and the 
Arabs were told off for that purpose. 

A little before sunrise I accompanied the howartis, or hippo- 
potamus hunters, for a day's sport. There were numbers of 
hippos in this part of the river, and we were not long before we 
found a herd. The hunters failed in several attempts to harpoon 
them, but they succeeded in stalking a crocodile after a most 
peculiar fashion. This large beast was lying upon a sandbank 
on the opposite margin of the river, close to a bed of rushes. 

The howartis, having studied the wind, ascended for about a 
quarter of a mile, and then swam across the river, harpoon in 
hand. The two men reached the opposite bank, beneath which 
they alternately waded or swam down the stream toward the 
spot upon which the crocodile was lying. Thus advancing under 
cover of the steep bank, or floating with tlie stream in deep 
places, and crawling like crocodiles across the shallows, the two 
hunters at length arrived at the bank or rushes, on the other 
side of which the monster was basking asleep upon the sand. 
They were now about waist-deep, and they kept close to the 
rushes with their harpoons raised, ready to cast the moment 
they should pass the rush bed and come in view of the croco- 
dile. Thus steadily advancing, they had just arrived at the 
corner within about eight yards of the crocodile, when the creat- 
ure either saw them, or obtained their wind; in an instant it 
rushed to the water; at the same moment, the two harpoons 
were launched with great rapidity by the hunters. One glanced 
obliquely from the scales; the other stuck fairly in the tough 
hide, and the iron, detached from the bamboo, held fast, while 
the ambatch float, running on the surface of the water, marked 
the course of the reptile beneath. 

The hunters chose a convenient place, and recrossed the 
stream to our side, apparently not heeding the crocodiles more 
than we should pike when bathing in England. They would 
not waste their time by securing the crocodile at present, as 
they wished to kill a hippopotamus; the float would mark the 
position, and they would be certain to find it later. We ac- 
cordingly continued our search for hippopotami; these animals 
appeared to be on the qui vive, and, as the hunters once more 
failed in an attempt, I made a clean shot behind the ear of 
one, and killed it dead. At length we arrived at a large pool, 



SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER 1283 

in which were several sandbanks covered with rushes, and many 
rocky islands. Among these rocks were a herd of hippopotami, 
consisting of an old bull and several cows; a young hippo was 
standing, like an ugly little statue, on a protruding rock, while 
another infant stood upon its mother's back that listlessly floated 
on the water. 

This was an admirable place for the hunters. They desired 
me to lie down, and they crept into the jungle out of view of 
the river; I presently observed them stealthily descending the 
dry bed about two hundred paces above the spot where the 
hippos were basking behind the rocks. They entered the river, 
and swam down the centre of the stream toward the rock. This 
was highly exciting: — the hippos were quite unconscious of the 
approaching danger, as, steadily and rapidly, the hunters floated 
down the strong current; they neared the rock, and both heads 
disappeared as they purposely sank out of view; in a few sec- 
onds later they reappeared at the edge of the rock upon which 
the young hippo stood. It would be difficult to say which 
started first, the astonished young hippo into the water, or the 
harpoons from the hands of the howartis! It was the affair of 
a moment; the hunters dived directly they had hurled their 
harpoons, and, swimming for some distance under water, they 
came to the surface, and hastened to the shore lest an in- 
furiated hippopotamus should follow them. One harpoon had 
missed ; the other had fixed the bull of the herd, at which it 
had been surely aimed. This was grand sport! The bull was 
in the greatest fury, and rose to the surface, snorting and blow- 
ing in his impotent rage; but as the ambatch float was exceed- 
ingly large, and this naturally accompanied his movements, he 
tried to escape from his imaginary persecutor, and dived con- 
stantly, only to find his pertinacious attendant close to him 
upon regaining the surface. This was not to last long; the 
howartis were in earnest, and they at once called their party, 
who, with two of the aggageers, Abou Do and Suleiman, were 
near at hand; these men arrived with the long ropes that form 
a portion of the outfit for hippo hunting. 

The whole party now halted on the edge of the river, while 
two men swam across with one end of the long rope. Upon 
gaining the opposite bank, I observed that a second rope was 
made fast to the middle of the main line; thus upon our side we 
held the ends of two ropes, while on the opposite side they had 



1284 



SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER 



only one; accordingly, the point of junction of the two ropes in 
the centre formed an acute angle. The object of this was soon 
practically explained. Two men upon our side now each held a 
rope, and one of these walked about ten yards before -the other. 
Upon both sides of the river the people now advanced,- dragging 
the rope on the surface of the water until they reached the 
ambatch float that was swimming to and fro, according to the 
movements of the hippopotamus below. By a dexterous jerk of 
the main line, the float was now placed between the two ropes, 
and it was immediately secured in the acute angle by bringing 
together the ends of these ropes on our side. 

The men on the opposite bank now dropped their line, and 
our men hauled in upon the ambatch float that was held fast 
between the ropes. Thus cleverly made sure, we quickly brought 
a strain upon the hippo, and, although I have had some experi- 
ence in handling big fish, I never knew one pull so lustily as 
the amphibious animal that we now alternately coaxed and 
bullied. He sprang out of the water, gnashed his huge jaws,- 
snorted with tremendous rage, and lashed the river into foam; 
he then dived, and foolishly approached us beneath the water. 
We quickly gathered in the slack line, and took a round turn 
upon a large rock, within a few feet of the river. The hippo 
now rose to the surface, about ten yards from the hunters, and, 
jumping half out of the water, he snapped his great jaws 
together, endeavoring to catch the rope, but at the same instant 
two harpoons were latmched into his side. Disdaining retreat 
and inaddened with rage, the furious animal charged from the 
depths of the river, and, gaining a footing, he reared his bulky 
form from the surface, came boldly upon the sandbank, and 
attacked the hunters open-mouthed. He little knew his enemy; 
they were not the men to fear a pair of gaping jaws, armed 
with a deadly array of tusks, bi:t half a dozen lances were 
hurled at him, some entering his mouth from a distance of five 
or six paces, at the same time several men threw handfuls of 
sand into his enormous eyes. This baffled him more than the 
lances; he cnmched the shafts between his powerful jaws like 
straws, but he was beaten by the sand, and, shaking his huge 
head, he retreated to the river. During his sally upon the 
shore, two of the hunters had secured the ropes of the har- 
poons that had been fastened in his body just before his charge; 
he was now fixed by three of these deadly instruments, but 



SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER 



1285 



suddenly one rope gave way, having been bitten through by the 
enraged beast, who was still beneath the water. Immediately 
after this he appeared on the surface, and, without a moment's 
hesitation, he once moi-e charged furiously from the water 
straight at the hunters, with his huge mouth open to such an 
extent that he could have accommodated two inside passengers. 
Suleiman was wild with delight, and springing forward lance in 
hand, he drove it against the head of the formidable animal, but 
without effect. At the same time, Abou Do met the hippo 
sword in hand, reminding me of Perseus slaying the sea-monster 
that would devour Andromeda, but the sword made a harmless 
gash, and the lance, already blunted against the rocks, refused 
to penetrate the tough hide; once more handfuls of sand were 
pelted upon his face, and again repulsed by this blinding attack, 
he was forced to retire to his deep hole and wash it from his 
eyes. Six times during the fight the valiant bull hippo quitted 
his watery fortress, and charged resolutely at his pursuers; he 
had broken several of their lances in his jaws, other lances had 
been hurled, and, falling upon the rocks, they were blunted, and 
would not penetrate. The fight had continued for three hours, 
and the sun was about to set, accordingly the hunters begged 
me to give him the coup de grace, as they had hauled him close 
to the shore, and they feared he would sever the rope with his 
teeth. I waited for a good opportunity, when he boldly raised 
his head from water about three yards from the rifle, and a bul- 
let froin the little Fletcher between the eyes closed the last act. 



THE SOURCES OF THE NILE 

From < The Albert Nyanza > 

THE name of this village was Parkani. For several days past 
our guides had told us that we were very near to the lake, 
and we were now assured that we should reach it on the 
morrow. I had noticed a lofty range of mountains at an immense 
distance west, and I had imagined that the lake lay on the other 
side of this chain; but I was now informed that those mountains 
formed the western frontier of the M'wootan N'zige, and that the 
lake was actually within a march of Parkani. I could not believe 
it possible that we were so. near the object of our search. The 
guide Rabonga now appeared, and declared that if we started 



1286 SIR SAMUEL WHITE BAKER ' 

early on the following morning we should be able to wash in the 
lake by noon! 

That night I hardly slept. For years I had striven to reach 
the ** sources of the Nile. " In my nightly dreams during that 
arduous voyage I had always failed, but after so much hard work 
and perseverance the cup was at my very lips, and I was to drink 
at the mysterious fountain before another sun should set — at that 
great reservoir of Nature that ever since creation had baffled all 
discovery. 

I had hoped, and prayed, and striven through all kinds of 
difficulties, in sickness, starvation, and fatigue, to reach that 
hidden source; and when it had appeared impossible, we had 
both determined to die upon the road rather than return defeated. 
Was it possible that it was so near, and that to-morrow we could 
say, ** the work is accomplished " ? 

The 14th March. The sun had not risen when I was spurring 
my ox after the guide, who, having been promised a double 
handful of beads on arrival at the lake, had caught the enthu- 
siasm of the moment. The day broke beautifully clear, and hav- 
ing crossed a deep valley between the hills, we toiled up the 
opposite slope. I hurried to the summit. The glory of our prize 
burst suddenly upon me! There, like a sea of quicksilver, lay 
far beneath the grand expanse of water, — a boundless sea horizon 
on the south and southwest, glittering in the noonday sun; and 
on the west at fifty or sixty miles distance blue mountains rose 
from the bosom of the lake to a height of about 7,000 feet above 
its level. 

It is impossible to describe the triumph of that moment; — 
here was' the reward for all our labor — for the years of tenacity 
with which we had toiled through Africa. England had won the 
sources of the Nile ! Long before I reached this spot I had 
arranged to give three cheers with all our men in English style 
in honor of the discovery, but now that I looked down upon the 
great inland sea lying nestled in the very heart of Africa, and 
thought how vainly mankind had sought these sources through- 
out so many ages, and reflected that I had been the humble 
instrument permitted to unravel this portion of the great mystery 
when so many greater than I had failed, I felt too serious to vent 
my feelings in vain cheers for victory, and I sincerely thanked 
God for having guided and supported us through all dangers to 
the good end. I was about 1,500 feet above the lake, and I 



ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 



1287 



looked down from the steep granite cliff upon those welcome 
waters — upon that vast reservoir which nourished Egypt and 
brought fertility where all was wilderness — upon that great 
source so long hidden from mankind; that source of bounty and of 
blessings to millions of human beings; and as one of the greatest 
objects in nature, I determined to honor it with a great name. 
As an imperishable memorial of one loved and mourned by our 
gracious Queen and deplored by every Englishman, I called this 
great lake "the Albert Nyanza." The Victoria and the Albert 
lakes are the two sources of the Nile. 




ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 

(1848-) 

Although the prominence of Arthur James Balfour in English 
contemporary life is in the main that of a statesman, he 
has a high place as a critic of philosophy, especially in its 
relation to religion. During the early part of his life his interests 
were entirely those of a student. He was born in 1848, a member of 
the Cecil family, and a nephew of the Prime Minister, Lord Salis- 
bury. His tastes were those of a retired thinker. He cared for lit- 
erature, music, and philosophy, but very little for the political world; 
so little that he never read the newspapers. 
This tendency was increased by his deli- 
cate health. When, therefore, as a young 
man in the neighborhood of thirty, he 
was made Secretary for Scotland, people 
laughed. His uncle's choice proved to be 
a wise one, however; and he later, in 1886, 
gave his nephew the very important posi- 
tion of Irish Secretary, at a time when 
some of the ablest and most experienced 
statesmen had failed. Mr. Balfour won an 
unexpected success and a wide reputation, 
and from that time on he developed rap- 
idly into one of the most skillful statesmen 
of the Conservative party. By tradition and by temperament he is an 
extreme Tory; and it is in the opposition, as a skillful fencer in 
debate and a sharp critic of pretentious schemes, that he has been 
most admired and most feared. However, he is kept from being 




Arthur J. Balfour 



1288 ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 

narrowly confined to the traditional point of view by the philosophic 
interests and training of his mind, which he has turned into practi- 
cal fairness. Some of his speeches are most original in suggestion, 
and all show a literary quality of a high order. His writings on 
other subjects are also broad, scholarly, and practical. <A Defense 
of Philosophic Doubt * is thought by some philosophers to be the 
ablest work of destructive criticism since Hume. < The Foundations 
of Belief > covers somewhat the same ground and in more popular 
fashion. < Essays and Addresses' is a collection of papers on litera- 
ture and sociology. 



THE PLEASURES OF READING 
From his Rectorial Address before the University of Glasgow 

I CONFESS to have been much perplexed in my search for a topic 
on which I could say something to which you would have 

patience to listen, or on which I might find it profitable to 
speak. One theme however there is, not inappropriate to the 
place in which I stand, nor I hope unwelcome to the audience 
which I address. The youngest of you have left behind that 
period of youth during which it seems inconceivable that any 
book should afford recreation except a story-book. Many of you 
are just reaching the period when, at the end of your prescribed 
curriculum, the whole field and compass of literature lies out- 
spread before you ; when, with faculties trained and disciplined, 
and the edge of curiosity not dulled or worn with use, you may 
enter at your leisure into the intellectiial heritage of the cen- 
turies. 

Now the question of how to read and what to read has of 
late filled much space in the daily papers, if it cannot strictly 
speaking be said to have profoundly occupied the public mind. 
But you need be under no alarm. I am not going to supply 
you with a new list of the hundred books most worth reading, 
nor am I about to take the world into my confidence in respect 
of my " favorite passages from the best authors. " Nor again do 
I address myself to the professed student, to the fortunate indi- 
vidual with whom literature or science is the business as well as 
the pleasure of life. I have not the qualifications which would 
enable me to undertake such a task with the smallest hope of 
success. My theme is humble, though the audience to whom I 
desire to speak is large: for I speak to the ordinary reader with 



ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR I 289 

ordinary capacities and ordinary leisure, to whom reading is, or 
ought to be, not a business but a pleasure; and my theme is 
the enjoyment — not, mark you, the improvement, nor the glory, 
nor the profit, but the enjoy incut — which may be derived by such 
an one from books. 

It is perhaps due to the controversial habits engendered by 
my unfortunate profession, that I find no easier method of mak- 
ing my own view clear than that of contrasting with it what I 
regard as an erroneous view held by somebody else; and in the 
present case the doctrine which I shall choose as a foil to my 
own, is one which has been stated with the utmost force and 
directness by that brilliant and distinguished writer, Mr. Frederic 
Harrison. He has, as many of you know, recently given us, in 
a series of excellent essays, his opinion on the principles which 
should guide us in the choice of books. Against that part of his 
treatise which is occupied with specific recommendations of cer- 
tain authors I have not a word to say. He has resisted all the 
temptations to eccentricity which so easily beset the modern 
critic. Every book which he praises deserves his praise, and has 
•long been praised by the world at large. I do not, indeed, hold 
that the verdict of the world is necessarily binding on the indi- 
vidual conscience. I admit to the full that there is an enormous 
quantity of hollow devotion, of withered orthodoxy divorced 
from living faith, in the eternal chorus of praise which goes up 
from every literary altar to the memory of the immortal dead. 
Nevertheless every critic is bound to recognize, as Mr. Harrison 
recognizes, that he must put down to individual peculiarity any 
difference he may have with the general verdict of the ages; he 
must feel that mankind are not likely to be in a conspiracy of 
error as to the kind of literary work which conveys to them the 
highest literary enjoyment, and that in such cases at least sccurus 
judicat orbis tcrrarum. 

But it is quite possible to hold that any work recommended 
by Mr. Harrison is worth repeated reading, and yet to reject 
utterly the theory of study by which these recommendations are 
prefaced. For Mr. Harrison is a ruthless censor. His index 
expiirgatorius includes, so far as I can discover, the whole cata- 
logue of the British Museum, with the exception of a small rem- 
nant which might easily be contained in about thirty or forty 
volumes. The vast remainder he contemplates with feelings 
apparently not merely of indifference, but of active aversion. He 



1290 



ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 



surveys the boundless and ever-increasing waste of books with 
emotions compounded of disgust and dismay. He is ahnost 
tempted to say in his haste that the invention of printing has 
been an evil one for humanity. In the habits of miscellaneous 
reading, born of a too easy access to libraries, circulating and 
other, he sees many soul-destroying tendencies; and his ideal 
reader would appear to be a gentleman who rejects with a lofty 
scorn all in history that does not pass for being first-rate in 
importance, and all in literature that is not admitted to be first- 
rate in quality. 

Now, I am far from denying that this theory is plausible. Of 
all that has been written, it is certain that the professed student 
can master but an infinitesimal fraction. Of that fraction the 
ordinary reader can master but a very small part. What advice, 
then, can be better than to select for study the few masterpieces 
that have come down to us, and to treat as non-existent the huge 
but undistinguished remainder ? We are like travelers passing 
hastily through some ancient city; filled with memorials of many 
generations and more than one great civilization. Our time is 
short. Of what may be seen we can only see at best but a 
trifling fragment. Let us then take care that we waste none of 
our precious moments upon that which is less than the most 
excellent. So preaches Mr. Frederic Harrison; and when a doc- 
trine which put thus may seem not only wise but obvious, is 
further supported by such assertions that habits of miscellaneous 
reading ** close the mind to what is spiritually sustaining " by 
"stuffing it with what is simply curious," or that such methods 
of study are worse than no habits of study at all because they 
" gorge and enfeeble " the mind by " excess in that which cannot 
nourish,** I almost feel that in venturing to dissent from it, I may 
be attacking not merely the teaching of common sense but the 
inspirations of a high morality. 

Yet I am convinced that for most persons the views thus laid 
down by Mr. Harrison are wrong; and that what he describes, 
with characteristic vigor, as "an impotent voracity for desultory 
information," is in reality a most desirable and a not too com- 
mon form of mental appetite. I have no sympathy whatever 
with the horror he expresses at the " incessant accumulation of 
fresh books." I am never tempted to regret that Gutenberg was 
born into the world. I care not at all though the "cataract of 
printed stuff," as Mr. Harrison calls it, should flow and still flow 



ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 1 291 

on until the catalogues of our libraries should make libraries 
themselves. I am prepared, indeed, to express sympathy almost 
amounting to approbation for any one who would check all writ- 
ing which was not intended for the printer. I pay no tribute of 
grateful admiration to those who have oppressed mankind with 
the dubious blessing of the penny post. But the ground of the 
distinction is plain. We are always obliged to read our letters, 
and are sometimes obliged to answer them. But who obliges us 
to wade through the piled-up lumber of an ancient library, or to 
skim more than we like off the frothy foolishness poured forth 
in ceaseless streams by our circulating libraries ? Dead dunces 
do not importune us; Grub Street does not ask for a reply by 
return of post. Even their living successors need hurt no 
one who possesses the very moderate degree of social courage 
required to make the admission that he has not read the last 
new novel or the current number of a fashionable magazine. 

But this is not the view of Mr. Harrison. To him the posi- 
tion of any one having free access to a large library is fraught 
with issues so tremendous that, in order adequately to describe 
it, he has to seek for parallels in two of the most highly-wrought 
episodes in fiction: the Ancient Mariner, becalmed and thirsting 
on the tropic ocean; Bunyan's Christian in the crisis of spiritual 
conflict. But there is here, surely, some error and some exagger- 
ation. Has miscellaneous reading all the dreadful consequences 
which Mr. Harrison depicts ? Has it any of them ? His declara- 
tion about the intellect being " gorged and enfeebled " by the 
absorption of too much information, expresses no doubt with great 
vigor an analogy, for which there is high authority, between the 
human mind and the human stomach; but surely it is an analogy 
which may be pressed too far. I have often heard of the indi- 
vidual whose excellent natural gifts have been so overloaded with 
huge masses of undigested and indigestible learning that they 
have had no chance of healthy development. But though I have 
often heard of this personage, I have never met him, and I 
believe him to be mythical. It is true, no doubt, that many 
learned people are dull; but there is no indication whatever that 
they are dull because they are learned. True dullness is seldom 
acquired; it is a natural grace, the manifestations of which, how- 
ever modified by education, remain in substance the same. Fill 
a dull man to the brim with knowledge, and he will not become 
less dull, as the enthusiasts for education vainly imagine ; but 



1292 ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR ' 

neither will he become duller, as Mr. Harrison appears to sup- 
pose. He will remain in essence what he always has been and 
always must have been. But whereas his dullness would, if left 
to itself, have been merely vacuous, it may have become, under 
cureful cultivation, pretentious and pedantic. 

I would further point out to you that while there is no ground 
in experience for supposing that a keen interest in those facts 
which Mr. Harrison describes as "merely curious" has any 
stupefying effect upon the mind, or has any tendency to render 
it insensible to the higher things of literature and art, there is 
positive evidence that many of those who have most deeply felt 
the charm of these higher things have been consumed by that 
omnivorous appetite for knowledge which excites Mr. Harrison's 
especial indignation. Dr. Johnson, for instance, though deaf to 
some of the most delicate harmonies of verse, was without ques- 
tion a very great critic. Yet in Dr. Johnson's opinion, literary 
history, which is for the most part composed of facts which Mr. 
Harrison would regard as insignificant, about authors whom he 
would regard as pernicious, was the most delightful of studies. 
Again, consider the case of Lord Macaulay. Lord Macaulay 
did everything Mr. Harrison says he ought not to have done. 
From youth to age he was continuously occupied in "gorging 
and enfeebling " his intellect, by the unlimited consumption of 
every species of literature, from the masterpieces of the age of 
Pericles to the latest rubbish from the circulating library. It is 
not told of him- that his intellect suffered by the process; and 
though it will hardly be claimed for him that he was a great 
critic, none will deny that he possessed the keenest susceptibilities 
for literary excellence in many languages and in every form. If 
Englishmen and Scotchmen do not satisfy you, I will take a 
Frenchman. The most accomplished critic whom France has 
produced is, by general admission, Ste.-Beuve. His capacity for 
appreciating supreme perfection in literature will be disputed by 
none ; yet the great bulk of his vast literary industry was expended 
upon the lives and writings of authors whose lives Mr. Harrison 
would desire us to forget, and whose writings almost wring from 
him the wish that the art of printing had never been discovered. 

I am even bold enough to hazard the conjecture (I trust he 
will forgive me) that Mr. Harrison's life may be quoted against 
Mr. Harrison's theory. I entirely decline to believe, without 
further evidence, that the writings whose vigor of style and of 



ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 1293 

thought have been the delight of ixs all are the product of his 
own system. I hope I do him no wrong, but I cannot help 
thinking that if we knew the truth, we should find that he fol- 
lowed the practice of those worthy physicians who, after prescrib- 
ing the most abstemious diet to their patients, may be seen 
partaking freely, and to all appearances safely, of the most suc- 
culent and the most unwholesome of the forbidden dishes. 

It has to be noted that Mr. Harrison's list of the books which 
deserve perusal would seem to indicate that in his opinion, the 
pleasures to be derived from literature are chiefly pleasures of 
the imagination. Poets, dramatists, and novelists form the chief 
portion of the somewhat meagre fare which is specifically per- 
mitted to his disciples. Now, though I have already stated that 
the list is not one of which any person is likely to assert that it 
contains books which ought to be excluded, yet, even from the 
point of view of what may be termed aesthetic enjoyment, the 
field in which we are allowed to take our pleasures seems to me 
unduly restricted. 

Contemporary poetry, for instance, on which Mr. Harrison 
bestows a good deal of hard language, has and must have, for 
the generation which produces it, certain qualities not likely to 
be possessed by any other. Charles Lamb has somewhere de- 
clared that a pun loses all its virtues as soon as the momentary 
quality of the intellectual and social atmosphere in which it was 
bom has changed its character. What is true of this, the hum- 
blest effort of verbal art, is true in a different measure and 
degree of all, even of the highest, forms of literature. To some 
extent every work requires interpretation to generations who 
are separated by differences of thought or education from the 
age in which it was originally produced. That this is so with 
every book which depends for its interest upon feelings and 
fashions which have utterly vanished, no one will be disposed, 
I imagine, to deny. Butler's * Hudibras, ' for instance, which was 
the delight of a gay and witty society, is to me at least not 
unfrequently dull. Of some works, no doubt, which made a 
noise in their day it seems impossible to detect the slightest 
trace of charm. But this is not the case with * Hudibras. * Its 
merits are obvious. That they should have appealed to a gen- 
eration sick of the reign of the " Saints ** is precisely what we 
should have expected. But to us, who are not sick of the reign 
of the Saints, they appeal but imperfectly. The attempt to 



I204 ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR ' 

reproduce artificially the frame of mind of those who first read 
the poem is not only an effort, but is to most people, at all 
events, an unsuccessful effort. What is true of * Hudibras * is 
true also, though in an inconceivably smaller degree, of those 
great works of imagination which deal with the elemental facts 
of human character and human passion. Yet even on these, 
time does, though lightly, lay his hand. Wherever what may 
be called " historic sympathy " is required, there will be some 
diminution of the enjoyment which those must have felt who 
were the poet's contemporaries. We look, so to speak, at the 
same splendid landscape as they, but distance has made it neces- 
sary for us to aid our natural vision with glasses, and some loss 
of light will thus inevitably be produced, and some inconveni- 
ence from the difficulty of truly adjusting the focus. Of all 
authors. Homer would, I suppose, be thought to suffer least 
from such drawbacks. But yet in order to listen to Homer's 
accents with the ears of an ancient Greek, we must be able, 
among other things, to enter into a view about the gods which 
is as far removed from what we should describe as religious 
sentiment, as it is from the frigid ingenuity of those later poets 
who regarded the deities of Greek mythology as so many wheels 
in the supernatural machinery with which it pleased them to 
carry on the action of their pieces. If we are to accept Mr. 
Herbert Spencer's views as to the progress of our species, 
changes of sentiment are likely to occur which will even more 
seriously interfere with the world's delight in the Homeric 
poems. When human beings become so nicely " adjusted to their 
environment " that courage and dexterity in battle will have be- 
come as useless among civic virtues as an old helmet is among 
the weapons of war; when fighting gets to be looked upon with 
the sort of disgust excited in us by cannibalism; and when pub- 
lic opinion shall regard a warrior much in the same light that 
we regard a hangman, — I do not see how any fragment of that 
vast and splendid literature which depends for its interest upon 
deeds of heroism and the joy of battle is to retain its ancient 
charm. 

About these remote contingencies, however, I am glad to 
think that neither yoii nor I need trouble our heads; and if I 
parenthetically allude to them now, it is merely as an illustration 
of a truth not always sufficiently remembered, and as an excuse 
for those who find in the genuine, though possibly second-rate, 



ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 1295 

productions of their own age, a charm for which they search in 
vain among the mighty monuments of the past. 

But I leave this train of thought, which has perhaps already 
taken me too far, in order to point out a more fundamental error, 
as I think it, which arises from regarding literature solely from 
this high aesthetic standpoint. The pleasures of imagination, 
derived from the best literary models, form without doubt the 
most exquisite portion of the enjoyment which we may extract 
from books; but they do not, in my opinion, form the largest 
portion if we take into account mass as well as quality in our 
calculation. There is the literature which appeals to the imagi- 
nation or the fancy, some stray specimens of which Mr. Har- 
rison will permit us to peruse; but is there not also the literature 
which satisfies the curiosity ? Is this vast storehouse of pleasure 
to be thrown hastily aside because many of the facts which it 
contains are alleged to be insignificant, because the appetite to 
which they minister is said to be morbid ? Consider a little. We 
are here dealing with one of the strongest intellectual impulses 
of rational beings. Animals, as a rule, trouble themselves but 
little about anything unless they want either to eat it or to run 
away from it. Interest in and wonder at the works of nature 
and the doings of man are products of civilization, and excite 
emotions which do not diminish but increase with increasing 
knowledge and cultivation. Feed them and they grow; minister 
to them and they will greatly multiply. We hear much indeed 
of what is called " idle curiosity " ; but I am loth to brand any 
form of curiosity as necessarily idle. Take, for example, one of 
the most singular, but in this age one of the most universal, 
forms in which it is accustomed to manifest itself: I mean that 
of an exhaustive study of the contents of the morning and even- 
ing papers. It is certainly remarkable that any person who has 
nothing to get by it should destroy his eyesight and confuse his 
brain by a conscientious attempt to master the dull and doubtful 
details of the European diary daily transmitted to us by " Our 
Special Correspondent." But it must be remembered that this 
is only a somewhat unprofitable exercise of that disinterested love 
of knowledge which moves men to penetrate the Polar snows, 
to build up systems of philosophy, or to explore the secrets of 
the remotest heavens. It has in it the rudiments of infinite and 
varied delights. It can be turned, and it should be turned into a 
curiosity for which nothing that has been done, or thought, or 



1206 ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 

suffered, or believed, no law which governs the world of matter 
or the world of mind, can be wholly alien or tminteresting. 

Truly it is a subject for astonishment that, instead of expand- 
ing to the utmost the employment of this pleasure -giving faculty, 
so many persons should set themselves to work to limit its 
exercise by all kinds of arbitrary regulations. Some there are, 
for example, who tell us that the acquisition of knowledge is all 
very well, but that it must be useful knowledge; meaning usually 
thereby that it must enable a man to get on in a profession, 
pass an examination, shine in conversation, or obtain a reputa- 
tion for learning. But even if they mean something higher than 
this, even if they mean that knowledge to be worth anything 
must subserve ultimately if not immediately the material or 
spiritual interests of mankind, the doctrine is one which should 
be energetically repudiated. I admit, of course, at once, that 
discoveries the most apparently remote from human concerns 
have often proved themselves of the utmost commercial or manu- 
facturing value. But they require no such justification for their 
existence, nor were they striven for with any such object. Navi- 
gation is not the final cause of astronomy, nor telegraphy of 
electro-dynamics, nor dye-works of chemistry. And if it be true 
that the desire of knowledge for the sake of knowledge was the 
animating motive of the great men who first wrested her secrets 
from nature, why should it not also be enough for us, to whom 
it is not given to discover, but only to learn as best we may 
what has been discovered by others ? 

Another maxim, more plausible but equally pernicious, is that 
superficial knowledge is worse than no knowledge at all. That 
" a little knowledge is a dangerous thing " is a saying which has 
now got currency as a proverb stamped in the mint of Pope's 
versification; of Pope, who with the most imperfect knowledge of 
Greek translated Homer, with the most imperfect knowledge of 
the Elizabethan drama edited Shakespeare, and with the most 
imperfect knowledge of philosophy wrote the * Essay on Man. * 
But what is this " little knowledge ** which is supposed to be so 
dangerous ? What is it " little '* in relation to ? If in relation to 
what there is to know, then all human knowledge is little. If in 
relation to what actually is known by somebody, then we must 
condemn as " dangerous " the knowledge which Archimedes pos- 
sessed of mechanics, or Copernicus of astronomy; for a shilling 
primer and a few weeks' study will enable any student to 



ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR ,297 

outstrip in mere information some of tlie greatest teachers of the 
past. No doubt, that little knowledge which thinks itself to be 
great may possibly be a dangerous, as it certainly is a most 
ridiculous thing. We have all suffered under that eminently 
absurd individual who on the strength of one or two volumes, 
imperfectly apprehended by himself, and long discredited in the 
estimation of every one else, is prepared to supply you on the 
shortest notice with a dogmatic solution of every problem sug- 
gested by this " unintelligible world " ; or the political variety of 
the same pernicious genus, whose statecraft consists in the ready 
application to the most complex question of national interest of 
some high-sounding commonplace which has done weary duty on 
a thousand platforms, and which even in its palmiest days was 
never fit for anything better than a peroration. But in our dis- 
like of the individual, do not let us mistake the diagnosis of his 
disease. He suffers not from ignorance but from stupidity. Give 
him learning and you make him not wise, but only more pre- 
tentious in his folly. 

I say then that so far from a little knowledge being undesir- 
able, a little knowledge is all that on most subjects any of us 
can hope to attain; and that, as a source not of worldly profit 
but of personal pleasure, it may be of incalculable value to its 
possessor. But it will naturally be asked, " How are we to select 
from among the infihite number of things which may be known, 
those which it is best worth while for us to know ? " We are 
constantly being told to concern ourselves with learning what is 
important, and not to waste our energies upon what is insignifi- 
cant. But what are the marks by which we shall recognize the 
important, and how is it to be distinguished from the insignifi- 
cant? A precise and complete answer to this question which 
shall be true for all men cannot be given. I am considering 
knowledge, recollect, as it ministers to enjoyment; and from this 
point of view each unit of information is obviously of importance 
in proportion as it increases the general sum of enjoyment which 
we obtain, or expect to obtain, from knowledge. This, of course, 
makes it impossible to lay down precise rules which shall be an 
equally sure guide to all sorts and conditions of men; for in this, 
as in other matters, tastes must differ, and against real difference 
of taste there is no appeal. 

There is, however, one caution which it may be worth your 
while to keep in view: — Do not be persuaded into applying any 

HI— 82 



1298 ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 

general proposition on this subject with a foolish impartiality to 
every kind of knowledge. There are those who tell you that it 
is the broad generalities and the far-reaching principles which 
govern the world, which are alone worthy of your attention. A 
fact which is not an illustration of a law, in the opinion of these 
persons appears to lose all its value. Incidents which do not fit 
into some great generalization, events which are merely pictur- 
esque, details which are merely curious, they dismiss as unworthy 
the interest of a reasoning being. Now, even in science this 
doctrine in its extreme form does not hold good. The most sci- 
entific of men have taken profound interest in the investigation 
of facts from the determination of which they do not anticipate 
any material addition to our knowledge of the laws which regu- 
late the Universe. In these matters, I need hardly say that I 
speak wholly without authority. But I have always been under 
the impression that an investigation which has cost hundreds of 
thousands of pounds; which has stirred on three occasions the 
whole scientific comraunity throughout the civilized world; on 
which has been expended the utmost skill in the construction of 
instruments and their application to purposes of research (I refer 
to the attempts made to determine the distance of the sun by 
observation of the transit of Venus), — would, even if they had 
been brought to a successful issue, have furnished mankind with 
the knowledge of no new astronomical principle. The laws which 
govern the motions of the solar system, the proportions which 
the various elements in that system bear to one another, have 
long been known. The distance of the sun itself is known 
within limits of error relatively speaking not very considerable. 
Were the measuring rod we apply to the heavens based on an 
estimate of the sun's distance from the earth which was wrong 
by (say) three per cent., it would not to the lay mind seem to 
affect very materially our view either of the distribution of the 
heavenly bodies or of their motions. And yet this information, 
this piece of celestial gossip, would seem to have been the chief 
astronomical result expected from the successful prosecution of 
an investigation in which whole nations have interested them- 
selves. 

But though no one can, I think, pretend that science does not 

concern itself, and properly concern itself, with facts which are 

not to all appearance illustrations of law, it is undoubtedly true 

' that for those who desire to extract the greatest pleasure from 



ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR I 299 

science, a knowledge, however elementary, of the leading prin- 
ciples of investigation and the larger laws of nature, is the acqui- 
sition most to be desired. To him who is not a specialist, a 
comprehension of the broad outlines of the universe as it presents 
itself to his scientific imagination is the thing most worth striving 
to attain. But when we turn from science to what is rather 
vaguely called history, the same principles of study do not, I 
think, altogether apply, and mainly for this reason: that while 
the recognition of the reign of law is the chief amongst the 
pleasures imparted by science, our inevitable ignorance makes it 
the least among the pleasures imparted by history. 

It is no doubt true that we are surrounded by advisers who 
tell us that all study of the past is barren, except in so far as it 
enables i:s to determine the principles by which the evolution of 
human societies is governed. How far such an investigation has 
been up to the present time fruitful in results, it would be 
unkind to inquire. That it will ever enable us to trace with 
accuracy the course which States and nations are destined to pur- 
sue in the future, or to account in detail for their history in the 
past, I do not in the least believe. We are borne along like 
travelers on some unexplored stream. We may know enough of 
the general configuration of the globe to be sure that we are 
making our way towards the ocean. We may know enot:gh, by 
experience or theory, of the laws regulating the flow of liquids, 
to conjecture how the river will behave under the varying influ- 
ences to which it may be subject. More than this we cannot 
know. It will depend largely upon causes which, in relation to 
any laws which we are even likely to discover may properly be 
called accidental, whether we are destined sluggishly to drift 
among fever-stricken swamps, to hurry down perilous rapids, or 
to glide gently through fair scenes of peaceful cultivation. 

But leaving on one side ambitious sociological speculations, 
and even those more modest but hitherto more successful inves- 
tigations into the causes which have in particular cases been 
principally operative in producing great political changes, there 
are still two modes in which we can derive what I may call 
** spectacular ** enjoyment from the study of history. There is 
first the pleasure which arises from the contemplation of some 
great historic drama, or some broad and well-marked phase of 
social development. The story of the rise, greatness, and decay 
of a nation is like some vast epic which contains as subsidiary 



I300 ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR ' 

episodes the varied stories of the rise, greatness, and decay of 
creeds, of parties, and of statesmen. The imagination is moved 
by the slow unrolHng of this great picture of human mutabihty, 
as it is moved by the contrasted permanence of the abiding stars. 
The ceaseless conflict, the strange echoes of long-forgotten contro- 
versies, the confusion of purpose, the successes in which lay deep 
the seeds of future evils, the failures that ultimately divert the 
otherwise inevitable danger, the heroism which struggles to the 
last for a cause foredoomed to defeat, the wickedness which sides 
with right, and the wisdom which huzzas at the triumph of folly, 
— fate, meanwhile, amidst this turmoil and perplexity, working 
silently towards the predestined end, — all these form together a 
subject the contemplation of which need surely never weary. 

But yet there is another and very different species of enjoy- 
ment to be derived from the records of the past, which requires 
a somewhat different method of study in order that it may be 
fully tasted. Instead of contemplating as it were from a distance 
the larger aspects of the human drama, we may elect to move 
in familiar fellowship amid the scenes and actors of special 
periods. We may add to the interest we derive from the contem- 
plation of contemporary politics, a similar interest derived from a 
not less minute, and probably more accurate, knowledge of some 
comparatively brief passage in the political history of the past. 
We may extend the social circle in which we move, a circle per- 
haps narrowed and restricted through circumstances beyond our 
control, by making intimate acquaintances, perhaps even close 
friends, among a society long departed, but which, when we 
have once learnt the trick of it, we may, if it so pleases us, 
revive. 

It is this kind of historical reading which is ust:ally branded 
as frivolous and useless; and persons who indulge in it often 
delude themselves into thinking that the real motive of their 
investigation into bygone scenes and ancient scandals is philo- 
sophic interest in an important historical episode, whereas in 
truth it is not the philosophy which glorifies the details, but the 
details which make tolerable the philosophy. Consider, for exam- 
ple, the case of the French Revolution. The period from the 
taking of the Bastile to the fall of Robespierre is about the same 
as that which very commonly intervenes between two of our 
general elections. On these comparatively few months, libraries 
have been written. The incidents of every week are matters of 



ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR I^OI 

familiar knowledi^e. The character and the biography of every 
actor in the drama has been made the subject of minute study; 
and by comnion admission there is no more fascinating page in 
the history of the world. But the interest is not what is com- 
monly called philosophic, it is personal. Because the Revolution 
is the dominant fact in modern history, therefore people suppose 
that the doings of this or that provincial lawyer, tossed into tem- 
porary eminence and eternal infamy by some freak of the revo- 
lutionary wave, or the atrocities committed by this or that mob, 
half drimk with blood, rhetoric, and alcohol, are of transcendent 
importance. In truth their interest is great, but their import- 
ance is small. What we are concerned to know as students of 
the philosophy of history is, not the character of each turn and 
eddy in the great social cataract, but the manner in which the 
currents of the upper stream drew surely in towards the final 
plunge, and slowly collected themselves after the catastrophe 
again, to pursue at a different level their renewed and compara- 
tively tranquil course. 

Now, if so much of the interest of the French Revolution 
depends upon our minute knowledge of each passing incident, 
how much more necessary is such knowledge when we are deal- 
ing with the quiet nooks and comers of histon-; when we are 
seeking an introduction, let us say, into the literary society of 
Johnson, or the fashionable society of Walpole. Society, dead or 
alive, can have no charm without intimacy, and no intimacy 
without interest in trifles which I fear Mr. Harrison would de- 
scribe as "merely curious." If we would feel at our ease in any 
company, if we wish to find humor in its jokes, and point in its 
repartees, we must know something of the beliefs and the preju- 
dices of its various members, their loves -and their hates, their 
hopes and their fears, their maladies, their marriages, and their 
flirtations. If these things are beneath our notice, we shall not 
be the less qualified to serve our Queen and country', but need 
make no attempt to extract pleasure from one of the most 
delightful departments of literature. 

That there is such a thing as trifling information I do not of 
course question; but the frame of mind in which the reader is 
constantly weighing the exact importance to the universe at 
large of each circumstance which the author presents to his 
notice, is not one conducive to the true enjoyment of a picture 
whose effect depends upon a multitude of slight and seemingly 



I^02 ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR * 

insignificant touches, which impress the mind often without re- 
maining in the memory. The best method of guarding against 
the danger of reading what is useless is to read only what is 
interesting; a truth which will seem a paradox to a whole class 
of readers, fitting objects of our commiseration, who may be often 
recognized by their habit of asking some adviser for a list of 
books, and then marking out a scheme of study in the course of 
which all are to be conscientiously perused. These unfortunate 
persons apparently read a book principally with the object of 
getting to the end of it. They reach the word Finis with the 
same sensation of triumph as an Indian feels who strings a fresh 
scalp to his girdle. They are not happy unless they mark by 
some definite performance each step in the weary path of self- 
improvement. To begin a volume and not to finish it would be 
to deprive themselves of this satisfaction; it would be to lose all 
the reward of their earlier self-denial by a lapse from virtue at 
the end. To skip, according to their literary code, is a species 
of cheating; it is a mode of obtaining credit for erudition on 
false pretenses; a plan by which the advantages of learning are 
surreptitiously obtained by those who have not won them by 
honest toil. But all this is quite wrong. In matters literary, 
works have no saving efficacy. He has only half learnt the art 
of reading who has not added to it the even more refined 
accomplishments of skipping and of skimming; and the first step 
has hardly been taken in the direction of making literature a 
pleasure until interest in the subject, and not a desire to spare 
(so to speak) the author's feelings, or to accomplish an appointed 
task, is the prevailing motive of the reader. 

I have now reached, not indeed the end of my subject, which 
I have scarcely begun, but the limits inexorably set by the cir- 
cumstances under which it is treated. Yet I am unwilling to 
conclude without meeting an objection to my method of dealing 
with it, which has I am sure been present to the minds of not a 
few who have been good enough to listen to me with patience. 
It will be said that I have ignored the higher functions of litera- 
ture ; that I have degraded it from its rightful place, by discussing 
only certain ways in which it may minister to the entertainment 
of an idle hour, leaving wholly out of sight its contribi:tions to 
what Mr. Harrison calls our "spiritual sustenance." Now, this 
is partly because the first of these topics and not the second was 
the avowed subject of my address; but it is partly because I am 



ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 1^03 

deliberately of opinion that it is the pleasures and not the 
profits, spiritual or temporal, of literature which most require to 
be preached in the ear of the ordinary reader. I hold indeed 
the faith that all such pleasures minister to the development of 
much that is best in man — mental and moral; but the charm is 
broken and the object lost if the remote consequence is con- 
sciously pursued to the exclusion of the immediate end. It will 
not, I suppose, be denied that the beauties of nature are at least 
as well qualified to minister to our higher needs as are the beau- 
ties of literature. Yet we do not say we are going to walk to 
the top of such and such a hill in order to drink in " spiritual 
sustenance." We say we are going to look at the view. And I 
am convinced that this, which is the natural and simple way of 
considering literature as well as nature, is also the true way. 
The habit of always requiring some reward for knowledge 
beyond the knowledge itself, be that reward some material prize 
or be it what is vaguely called self-improvement, is one with 
which I confess I have little sympathy, fostered though it is by 
the whole scheme of our modem education. Do not suppose 
that I desire the impossible. I would not if I could destroy the 
examination system. But there are times, I confess, when I feel 
tempted somewhat to vary the prayer of the poet, and to ask 
whether Heaven has not reserved, in pity to this much-educat- 
ing generation, some peaceful desert of literature as yet unclaimed 
by the crammer or the coach; where it might be possible for the 
student to wander, even perhaps to stray, at his own pleasure 
without finding every beauty labeled, ever}^ difficulty engineered, 
everj^ nook surveyed, and a professional cicerone standing at 
every comer to guide each succeeding traveler along the same 
well-worn round. If such a wish were granted, I would further 
ask that the domain of knowledge thus " neutralized '* should be 
the literature of our own country. I grant to the full that the 
systematic study of some literature must be a principal element 
in the education of youth. But why should that literature be 
our own ? Why should we brush off the bloom and freshness 
from the works to which Englishmen and Scotchmen most nat- 
urally turn for refreshment, — namely, those written in their own 
language ? Why should we associate them with the memory of 
hours spent in weary study; in the effort to remember for pur- 
poses of examination what no human being would wish to 
remember for any other; in the struggle to learn something. 



1304 ARTHUR JAMES BALFOUR 

not because the learner desires to know it, but because he desires 
some one else to know that he knows it ? This is the dark side 
of the examination system; a system necessary and therefore 
excellent, but one which does, through the very efficiency and 
thoroughness of the drill by which it imparts knowledge, to some 
extent impair the most delicate pleasures by which the acquisi- 
tion of knowledge should be attended. 

How great those pleasures may be, I trust there are many 
here who can testify. When I compare the position of the reader 
of to-day with that of his predecessor of the sixteenth century, 
I am amazed at the ingratitude of those who are tempted even 
for a moment to regret the invention of printing and the multi- 
plication of books. There is now no mood of mind to which a 
man may not administer the appropriate nutriment or medicine 
at the cost of reaching down a volume from his bookshelf. In 
every department of knowledge infinitely more is known, and 
what is known is incomparably more accessible, than it was to 
our ancestors. The lighter forms of literature, good, bad, and 
indifferent, which have added so vastly to the happiness of man- 
kind, have increased beyond powers of computation ; nor do I 
believe that there is any reason to think that they have elbowed 
out their more serious and important brethren. It is perfectly 
possible for a man, not a professed student, and who only gives 
to reading the leisure hours of a business life, to acquire such a 
general knowledge of the laws of nature and the facts of history 
that every great advance made in either department shall be to 
him both intelligible and interesting; and he may besides have 
among his familiar friends many a departed worthy whose mem- 
ory is embalmed in the pages of memoir or biography. All this 
is ours for the asking. All this we shall ask for, if only it be 
our happy fortune to love for its own sake the beauty and the 
knowledge to be gathered from books. And if this be our for- 
tune, the world may be kind or unkind, it may seem to us to 
be hastening on the wings of enlightenment and progress to an 
imminent millennium, or it may weigh us down with the sense 
of insoluble difficulty and irremediable wrong; but whatever else 
it be, so long as we have good health and a good library, it can 
hardly be dull. 




>305 

THE BALLAD 

(Popular or Communal) 
BY F. B. GUMMERE 

'he popular ballad, as it is understood for the purpose of these 
selections, is a narrative in lyric form, with no traces of 
individual authorship, and is preserved mainly by oral tra- 
dition. In its earliest stages it was meant to be sung by a crowd, 
and got its name from the dance to which it furnished the sole 
musical accompaniment. In these primitive communities the ballad 
was doubtless chanted by the entire folk, in festivals mainly of a 
religious character. Explorers still meet something of the sort in 
savage tribes: and children's games preserve among us some relics 
of this protoplasmic form of verse-making, in which the single poet 
or artist was practically unknown, and spontaneous, improvised verses 
arose out of the occasion itself; in which the whole community took 
part; and in which the beat of foot — along with the gesture which 
expressed narrative elements of the song — was inseparable from the 
words and the melody. This native growth of song, in which the 
chorus or refrain, the dance of a festal multitude, and the spon- 
taneous nature of the words, were vital conditions, gradually faded 
aw^ay before the advance of cultivated verse and the vigor of pro- 
duction in what one may call poetry of the schools. Very early in 
the history of the ballad, a demand for more art must have called 
out or at least emphasized the artist, the poet, who chanted new 
verses while the throng kept up the refrain or burden. Moreover, as 
interest was concentrated upon the words or story, people began to 
feel that both dance and melody were separable if not alien features; 
and thus they demanded the composed and recited ballad, to the 
harm and ultimate ruin of that spontaneous song for the festal, dan- 
cing crowd. Still, even when artistry had found a footing in ballad 
verse, it long remained mere agent and mouthpiece for the folk; the 
communal character of the ballad was maintained in form and 
matter. Events of interest were sung in almost contemporary and 
entirely improvised verse ; and the resulting ballads, carried over the 
borders of their community and passed down from generation to gen- 
eration, served as newspaper to their own times and as chronicle to 
posterity. It is the kind of song to which Tacitus bears witness as 
the sole form of history among the early Germans; and it is evident 
that such a stock of ballads must have furnished considerable raw 
material to the epic. Ballads, in whatever original shape, went to 



i3o6 



THE BALLAD 



the making of the English < Beowulf, > of the German 'Nibelungenlied.* 
Moreover, a study of dramatic poetry leads one back to similar com- 
munal origins. What is loosely called a "chorus," — -originally, as the 
name implies, a dance — out of which older forms of the drama were 
developed, could be traced back to identity with primitive forms of 
the ballad. The purely lyrical ballad, even, the chanso?i of the peo- 
ple, so rare in English but so abundant among other races, is evi- 
dently a growth from the same root. 

If, now, we assume for this root the name of communal poem, 
and if we bear in mind the dominant importance of the individual, 
the artist, in advancing stages of poetry, it is easy to understand 
why for civilized and lettered communities the ballad has ceased to 
have any vitality whatever. Under modern conditions the making of 
ballads is a closed account. For our times poetry means something 
written by a poet, and not something sung more or less spontaneously 
by a dancing throng. Indeed, paper and ink, the agents of preserva- 
tion in the case of ordinary verse, are for ballads the agents of 
destruction. The broadside press of three centuries ago, while it 
rescued here and there a genuine ballad, poured out a mass of vulgar 
imitations which not only displaced and destroyed the ballad of oral 
tradition, but brought contempt upon good and bad alike. Poetry of 
the people, to which our ballad belongs, is a thing of the past. Even 
rude and distant communities, like those of Afghanistan, cannot give 
us the primitive conditions. The communal ballad is rescued, when 
rescued at all, by the fragile chances of a written copy or of oral 
tradition; and we are obliged to study it under terms of artistic 
poetry, — that is, we are forced to take through the eye and the judg- 
ment what was meant for the ear and immediate sensation. Poetry 
for the people, however, "popular poetry" in the modern phrase, is 
a very different affair. Street songs, vulgar rhymes, or even improv- 
isations of the concert-halls, tawdry and sentimental stuff, — these 
things are sundered by the world's width from poetry of the people, 
from the folk in verse, whether it echo in a great epos which chants 
the clash of empires or linger in a ballad of the countryside sung 
under the village linden. For this ballad is a part of the poetry 
which comes from the people as a whole, from a homogeneous folk, 
large or small; while the song of street or concert-hall is deliberately 
composed for a class, a section, of the community. It would there- 
fore be better to use some other term than « popular " when we wish 
to specify the ballad of tradition, and so avoid all taint of vulgarity 
and the trivial. Nor must we go to the other extreme. Those high- 
born people who figure in traditional ballads — Childe Waters, Lady 
Maisry, and the rest — do not require us to assume composition in 
aristocratic circles; for the lower classes of the people in ballad days 



THE BALLAD 



>3o7 



had no separate literature, and a ballad of the folk belonged to the 
community as a whole. The same habit of thought, the same stand- 
ard of action, ruled alike the noble and his meanest retainer. Oral 
transmission, the test of the ballad, is of course nowhere possible 
save in such an unlettered community. Since all critics are at one 
in regard to this homogeneous character of the folk with whom and 
out of whom these songs had their birth, one is justified in removing 
all doubt from the phrase by speaking not of the popular ballad but 
of the communal ballad, the ballad of a community. 

"With regard to the making of a ballad, one must repeat a caution, 
hinted already, and made doubly important by a vicious tendency in 
the study of all phases of culture. It is a vital mistake to explain 
primitive conditions by exact analogy with conditions of modern sav- 
agery and barbarism. Certain conclusions, always guarded and cau- 
tious to a degree, may indeed be drawn; but it is folly to insist that 
what now goes on among shunted races, belated detachments in the 
great march of culture, must have gone on among the dominant and 
mounting peoples who had reached the same external conditions of 
life. The homogeneous and unlettered state of the ballad-makers 
is not to be put on a level with the ignorance of barbarism, nor 
explained by the analogy of songs among modern savage tribes. 
Fortunately we have better material. The making of a ballad by a 
community can be illustrated from a case recorded by Pastor Lyngbye 
in his invaluable account of life on the Faroe Islands a century ago. 
Not only had the islanders used from most ancient times their tra- 
ditional and narrative songs as music for the dance, but they had 
also maintained the old fashion of making a ballad. In the winter, 
says Lyngbyfe, dancing is their chief amusement and is an affair of 
the entire community. At such a dance, one or more persons begin 
to sing; then all who are present join in the ballad, or at least in 
the refrain. As they dance, they show by their gestures and expres- 
sion that they follow with eagerness the course of the story which 
they are singing. More than this, the ballad is often a spontaneous 
product of the occasion. A fisherman, who has had some recent mis- 
hap with his boat, is pushed by stalwart comrades into the middle 
of the throng, while the dancers sing verses about him and his lack 
of skill, — verses improvised on the spot and with a catching and 
clamorous refrain. If these verses win favor, says Lyngbye, they are 
repeated from year to year, with slight additions or corrections, and 
become a permanent ballad. Bearing in mind the extraordinary 
readiness to improvise shown even in these days by peasants in 
every part of Europe, we thus gain some definite notion about the 
spontaneous and communal elements which went to the making of 
the best type of primitive verse ; for these Faroe islanders were no 



r3o8 



THE BALLAD 



savages, but simply a homogeneous and isolated folk which still held 
to the old ways of communal song. 

Critics of the ballad, moreover, agree that it has little or no sub- 
jective traits, — an easy inference from the conditions just described. 
There is no individuality lurking behind the words of the ballad, and 
above all, no evidence of that individuality in the form of sentiment. 
Sentiment and individuality are the very essence of modern poetry, 
and the direct result of individualism in verse. Given a poet, senti- 
ment — and it may be noble and precious enough — is sure to follow. 
But the ballad, an epic in little, forces one's attention to the object, 
the scene, the story, and away from the maker. 

"The king sits in Dumferling town,» 

begins one of the noblest of all ballads; while one of the greatest of 
modern poems opens with something personal and pathetic, keynote 
to all that follows: — 

«My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains 
My sense ...» 

Even when a great poet essays the ballad, either he puts sentiment 
into it, or else he keeps sentiment out of it by a tour de force. Ad- 
mirable and noble as one must call the conclusion of an artistic 
ballad such as Tenny.son's 'Revenge,' it is altogether different froni 
the conclusion of such a communal ballad as * Sir Patrick Spens. * That 
subtle quality of the ballad which lies in solution with the story and 
which — as in* Child Maurice* or * Babylon > or < Edward > — compels 
in us sensations akin to those called out by the sentiment of the 
poet, is a wholly impersonal if strangely effective quality, far removed 
from the corresponding elements of the poem of art. At first sight, 
one might say that Browning's dramatic lyrics had this impersonal 
quality. But compare the close of 'Give a Rouse,* chorus and all, 
with the close of 'Child Maurice,' that swift and relentless stroke of 
pure tragedy which called oi:t the enthusiasm of so great a critic as 
Gray. 

The narrative of the communal ballad is full of leaps and omis- 
sions; the style is simple to a fault; the diction is spontaneous and 
free. Assonance frequently takes the place of rhyme, and a word 
often rhymes with itself. There is a lack of poetic adornment in the 
style quite as conspicuous as the lack of reflection and moralizing in 
the matter. Metaphor and simile are rare and when found are for 
the most part . standing phrases common to all the ballads; there is 
never poetry for poetry's sake. Iteration is the chief mark of ballad 
style; and the favorite form of this eflfective figure is what one may 
call incremental repetition. The question is repeated with the an- 
swer; each increment in a series of related facts has a stanza for 



THE BALLAD 



■309 



itself, identical, save for the new fact, with the other stanzas. < Baby- 
lon > furnishes good instances of this progfressive iteration. Moreover, 
the ballad differs from earlier English epics in that it invariably has 
stanzas and rhyme : of the two forms of stanza, the two-line stanza 
with a refrain is probably older than the stanza with four or six 
lines. 

This necessary quality of the stanza points to the origin of the 
ballad in song; but longer ballads, such as those that make up the 
' Gest of Robin Hood,' an epic in little, were not sung as lyrics or to 
aid the dance, but were either chanted in a monotonous fashion or 
else recited outright. Chappell, in his admirable work on old Eng- 
lish music ('Music of the Olden Time,* ii. 790), names a third class of 
« characteristic airs of England," — the "historical and very long bal- 
lads, . . . invariably of simple construction, usually plaintive. 
. They were rarely if ever used for dancing." Most of the 
longer ballads, however, were doubtless given by one person in a 
sort of recitative ; this is the case with modern ballads of Russia and 
Servia, where the bystanders now and then join in a chorus. Pre- 
ciselj' in the same way ballads were divorced from the dance, origin- 
ally their vital condition; but in the refrain, which is attached to so 
many ballads, one finds an element which has survived from those 
earliest days of communal song. 

Of oldest communal poetry no actual ballad has come down to 
us. Hints and even fragments, however, are pointed out in ancient 
records, mainly as the material of chronicle or legend. In the Bible 
(Numbers xxi. 17), where "Israel sang this song," we are not going 
too far when we regard the fragment as part of a communal ballad. 
"Spring up, O well: sing ye unto it: the princes digged the well, the 
nobles of the people digged it, by the direction of the lawgiver, with 
their staves." Deborah's song has something of the communal note; 
and when Miriam dances and sings with her maidens, one is reminded 
of the many ballads made by dancing and singing bands of women 
in mediaeval Europe, — for instance, the song made in the seventh 
century to the honor of St. Faro, and " sung by the women as they 
danced and clapped their hands." The question of ancient Greek 
ballads, and their relation to the epic, is not to be discussed here; 
nor can we make more than an allusion to the theory of Niebuhr 
that the early part of Livy is founded on old Roman ballads. A 
popular discussion of this matter may be found in Macaulay's preface 
to his own ' Laj's of Ancient Rome.* The ballads of modern Europe 
are a survival of older communal poetr}', more or less influenced by 
artistic and individual conditions of authorship, but wholly imper- 
sonal, and with an appeal to our interest which seems to come from 
a throng and not from the solitary poet. Attention was early called 



I3IO THE BALLAD , 

to the ballads of Spain; printed at first as broadsides, they were 
gathered into a volume as early as 1550. On the other hand, ballads 
were neglected in France until very recent times; for specimens of 
the French ballad, and for an account of it, the reader should consult 
Professor Crane's < Chansons Populaires de France,' New York, 1891. 
It is with ballads of the Germanic race, however, that we are now 
concerned. Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, the Faroe Islands; 
Scotland and England ; the Netherlands and Germany : all of these 
countries offer us admirable specimens of the ballad. Particularly, 
the great collections of Grundtvig (< Danmarks Gamle Folkeviser >) for 
Denmark, and of Child (* The English and Scottish Popular Ballads *) 
for our own tongue, show how common descent or borrowing con- 
nects the individual ballads of these groups. ** Almost every Nor- 
wegian, Swedish, or Icelandic ballad,*' says Grundtvig, "is found in 
a Danish version of Scandinavian ballads; moreover, a larger number 
can be found in English and Scottish versions than in German or 
Dutch versions." Again, we find certain national preferences in the 
character of the ballads which have come down to us. Scandinavia 
kept the old heroic lays (Kaempeviser) ; Germany wove them into her 
epic, as witness the Nibelungen Lay; but England and Scotland have 
none of them in any shape. So, too, the mythic ballad, scantily rep- 
resented in English, and practically unknown in Germany, abounds 
in Scandinavian collections. The Faroe Islands and Norway, as 
Grundtvig tells us, show the best record for ballads preserved by oral 
tradition; while noble ladies of Denmark, three or four centuries ago, 
did high service to ballad literature by making collections in manu- 
script of the songs current then in the castle as in the cottage. 

For England, one is compelled to begin the list of known ballads 
with the thirteenth century. < The Battle of Maldon,' composed in 
the last decade of the tenth century, though spirited enough and full 
of communal vigor, has no stanzaic structure, follows in metre and 
style the rules of the Old English epic, and is only a ballad by 
courtesy; about the ballads used a century or two later by historians 
of England, we can do nothing but guess; and there is no firm ground 
under the critic's foot until he comes to the Robin Hood ballads, 
which Professor Child assigns to the thirteenth century. <The Battle 
of Otterburn' (1388) opens a series of ballads based on actual events 
and stretching into the eighteenth century. Barring the Robin Hood 
cycle, — an epic constructed from this attractive material lies before 
us in the famous < Gest of Robin Hood,' printed as early as 1489, — 
the chief sources of the collector are the Percy Manuscript, "written 
just before 1650," — on which, not without omissions and additions, 
the bishop based his *Reliques,' first published in 1765, — and the 
oral traditions of Scotland, which Professor Child refers to "the last 



THE BALLAD 



1311 



one hundred and thirty years." Information about the individual 
ballads, their sources, history, literary connections, and above all, 
their varying texts, must be sought in the noble work of Professor 
F. J. Child. For present purposes, a word or two of general infor- 
mation must suffice. As to origins, there is a wide range. The 
church furnished its legend, as in * St. Stephen * ; romance contributed 
the story of * Thomas Rymer ' ; and the light, even cynical fabliau is 
responsible for *The Boy and the Mantle.* Ballads which occur in 
many tongues either may have a common origin or else may owe 
their manifold versions, as in the case of popular tales, to a love of 
borrowing; and here, of course, we get the hint of wider issues. For 
the most part, however, a ballad tells some moving story, preferably 
of fighting and of love. Tragedy is the dominant note ; and English 
ballads of the best type deal with those elements of domestic disaster 
so familiar in the great dramas of literature, in the story of Orestes, 
or of Hamlet, or of the Cid. Such are * Edward,* *Lord Randal,* 
<The Two Brothers,* < The Two Sisters,* < Child Maurice,* < Bewick 
and Graham,* * Clerk Colven,* * Ljttle Musgrave and Lady Barnard,* 
*Glasgerion,* and many others. Another group of ballads, represented 
by the * Baron of Brackley* and 'Captain Car,* give a faithful picture 
of the feuds and ceaseless warfare in Scotland and on the border. 
A few fine ballads — 'Sweet William's Ghost,* * The Wife of Usher's 
Well * — touch upon the supernatural. Of the romantic ballads, 
* Childe W^aters * shows us the higher, and * Young Beichan * the 
lower, but still sound and communal type. Incipient dramatic ten- 
dencies mark < Edward * and * Lord Randal * ; while, on the other 
hand, a lyric note almost carries ' Bonnie . George Campbell* out of 
balladry. Finally, it is to be noted that in the * Nut-Brown Maid, * 
which many would unhesitatingly refer to this class of poetry, we 
have no ballad at all, but a dramatic lyric, probably written by a 
woman, and with a special plea in the background. 




^yj^i^^i^nyi^j^/^ . 



J312 THE BALLAD 

ROBIN HOOD AND GUY OF GlSBORNE» 

1. A A /^"^^ shawes'^ beene sheene,' and shradds* full 

y Y fayre, 

And leeves both large and longe. 
It is merry, walking in the fayre forrest, 
To heare the small birds' songe. 

2. The woodweele^ sang, and wold not cease, 

Amongst the leaves a lyne ; * 
And it is by two wight ' yeomen. 
By deare God, that I meane. 

3. <* Me thought they* did me beate and binde, 

And tooke my bow me fro; 
If I bee Robin alive in this lande, 

I'll be wrocken'-* on both them two." 

4. "Sweavens^" are swift, master," quoth John, 

" As the wind that blowes ore a hill ; 
For if it be never soe lowde this night, 
To-morrow it may be still." 

5. <* Buske ye, bowne ye," my merry men all, 

For John shall go with me ; 
For I'll goe seeke yond wight yeomen 
In greenwood where they bee." 

' This ballad is a good .specimen of the Robin Hood Cycle, and is remark- 
able for its many proverbial and alliterative phrases. A few lines have been 
lost between stanzas 2 and 3. Gisborne is a "market-town in the West Rid- 
ing of the County of York, on the borders of Lancashire." For the probable 
tune of the ballad, see Chappell's < Popular Music of the Olden Time,> ii. 397. 

^ Woods, groves. — This touch of description at the outset is common in 
our old ballads, as well as in the mediaeval German popular lyric, and may 
perhaps spring from the old " summer-lays » and chorus of pagan times. 

' Beautiful ; German, sckon. 

* Coppices or openings in a wood. 

* In some glossaries the woodpecker, but here of course a song-bird, — per- 
haps, as Chappell suggests, the woodlark. 

^ A, on; lyne, lime or linden. 
' Sturdy, brave. 

* Robin now tells of a dream in which «they" (^the two « wight yeomen," 
who are Guy and, as Professor Child suggests, the Sheriff of Nottingham) 
maltreat him; and he thus foresees trouble "from two quarters." 

' Revenged. '" Dreams. 

"Tautological phrase, — "prepare and make ready." 



THE BALLAD l^i- 

6. They cast on their gowne of greene, 

A shooting gone are they. 
Until they came to the merry greenwood, 

Where they had gladdest bee; 
There were they ware of a wight yeoman, 

His body leaned to a tree. 

7. A sword and a dagger he wore by his side. 

Had beene many a man's bane,' 
And he was cladd in his capull-hyde,^ 
Topp, and tayle, and mayne. 

8. "Stand you still, master," quoth Litle John, 

" Under this trusty tree, 
And I will goe to yond wight yeoman. 
To know his meaning trulye." 

9. " A, John, by me thou setts noe store. 

And that's a farley^ thinge; 

How offt send I my men before, 

And tarry myselfe behinde ? 

10. " It is noe cunning a knave to ken, 

And a man but heare him speake; 
And it were not for bursting of my bowt 
John, I wold thy head breake.'* 

11. But often words they breeden bale. 

That parted Robin and John; 
John is gone to Barnesdale, 

The gates* he knowes eche one. 

12. And when hee came to Barnesdale, 

Great heavinesse there hee hadd; 
He found two of his fellowes 

Were slaine both in a slade,* 

13. And Scarlett a foote fiyinge was, 

Over stockes and stone. 
For the sheriffe with seven score men 
Fast after him is gone. 

* Murder, destruction. 

* Horse's hide. 

* Strange. 

* Paths. 

* Green valley between woods. 

in— 83 



I3I4 



THE BALLAD 



14. *Yet one shoote I'll shoote," sayes Litle John, 

"With Crist his might and mayne; 
I '11 make yond fellow that fiyes soe fast 
To be both glad and faine.** 

15. John bent up a good veiwe bow,' 

And fetteled^ him to shoote; 
The bow was made of a tender boughe. 
And fell downe to his foote. 

16. *Woe worth' thee, wicked wood," sayd Litle John, 

" That ere thou grew on a tree ■ 
For this day thou art my bale. 

My boote* when thou shold bee!" 

17. This shoote it was but looselye shott. 

The arrowe flew in vaine. 
And it mett one of the sheriffe's men; 
Good William a Trent was slaine. 

18. It had beene better for William a Trent 

To hange upon a gallowe 
Then for to lye in the greenwoode, 
There slaine with an arrowe. 

19. And it is sayed, when men be mett. 

Six can doe more than three: 
And they have tane Litle John, 
And bound him fast to a tree. 

20. " Thou shalt be drawen by dale and downe,** 

quoth the sheriffe, ^ 
« And hanged hye on a hill : » 
* But thou may f ayle, ** quoth Litle John 
"If it be Christ's owne will." 

21. Let us leave talking of Litle John, 

For hee is bound fast to a tree, 

'Perhaps the yew-bow. 

"Made ready. 

•«Woe be to thee." Worth is the old subjunctive present of an exact 
English equivalent to the modern German werden. 

*Note these alliterative phrases. Boote, remedy. 

'As Percy noted, this "quoth the sheriffe," was probably added by some 
explainer. The reader, however, must remember the license of slurring or 
contracting the syllables of a word, as well as the opposite freedom of expan- 
sion. Thus in the second line of stanza 7, man's is to be pronounced man-es. 



THE BALLAD 



1315 



And talke of Guy and Robin Hood 

In the green woode where they bee. 

22. How these two yeomen together they mett, 

Under the leaves of lyne, 
To see what marchandise they made 
Even at that same time. 

23. "Good morrow, good fellow,'* quoth Sir Guy; 

" Good morrow, good fellow, " quoth hee ; 
« Methinkes by this bow thou beares in thy hand, 
A good archer thou seems to bee.'* 

24. ** I am wilful! of my way, ** ' quoth Sir Guy, 

" And of my morning tyde : " 
*ril lead thee through the wood," quoth Robin, 
«Good fellow, I'll be thy guide.** 

25. "I seeke an outlaw,'* quoth Sir Guy, 

" Men call him Robin Hood ; 
I had rather meet with him upon a day 
Then forty pound of golde." 

26. "If you tow mett, it wold be scene whether were better 

Afore yee did part awaye; 
Let us some other pastime find, 
Good fellow, I thee pray. 

27. " Let us some other masteryes make. 

And we will walke in the woods even; 
Wee may chance meet with Robin Hood 
At some unsett steven."' 

28. They cutt them downe the summer shroggs' 

Which grew both under a bryar, 
And sett them three score rood in twinn,* 
To shoote the prickes" full neare. 

29. " Leade on, good fellow,** sayd Sir Guye, 

" Leade on, I doe bidd thee : >* 
"Nay, by my faith,** quoth Robin Hood, 
"The leader thou shalt bee.** 

• I have lost my way. 
'At some unappointed time, — by chance. 
'Stunted shrubs. * Apart. 

mprickes seem to have been the long-range targets, butts the near.^'—* 
Fumivall. 



I3I6 



THE BALLAD 



30. The first good shoot that Robin ledd, 

Did not shoote an inch the pricke free, 
Guy was an archer good enoughe, 
But he could neere shoote soe. 

31. The second shoote Sir Guy shott, 

He shott within the garlande,' 
But Robin Hoode shott it better than hee, 
For he clove the good pricke-wande. 

32. "God's blessing on thy heart!" sayes Guye, 

" Goode fellow, thy shooting is goode ; 
For an thy hart be as good as thy hands, 
Thou were better than Robin Hood. 

33. "Tell me thy name, good fellow," quoth Guye, 

" Under the leaves of lyne : " 
• "Nay, by my faith," quoth good Robin, 
"Till thou have told me thine." 

34. "I dwell by dale and downe," quoth Guye, 

" And I have done many a curst turne ; 
And he that calles me by my right name, 
Calles me Guye of good Gysborne." 

35. "My dwelling is in the wood," sayes Robin; 

"By thee I set right nought; 
My name is Robin Hood of Barnesdale, 
A fellow thou hast long sought." 

36. He that had neither beene a kithe nor kin 

Might have scene a full fayre sight. 
To see how together these yeomen went. 
With blades both browne and bright. 

37. To have scene how these yeomen together fought 

Two howers of a summer's day; 
It was neither Guy nor Robin Hood 
That fettled them to flye away. 

38. Robin was reacheles'' on a roote. 

And stumbled at that tyde. 
And Guy was quicke and nimble with-all. 
And hitt him ore the left side. 

* Garlande. perhaps "the ring within which the prick was set": and the 
■f)rtcke-'wande perhaps a pole or stick. The terms are not easy to understano 
clearly. 

' Reckless, careless. 



THE BALLAD ^3^7 

39. « Ah, deere Lady ! " sayd Robin Hoode, 

« Thou art both mother and may ! » 
I thinke it was never man's destinye 
To dye before his day." 

40. Robin thought on Our Lady deere, 

And soone leapt up againe, 
And thus he came with an awkwarde * stroke ; 
Good Sir Guy hee has slayne. 

41. He tooke Sir Guy's head by the hayre, 

And sticked it on his bowe's end: 
" Thou has beene traytor all thy life, 
Which thing must have an ende." 

42. Robin pulled forth an Irish kniffe, 

And nicked Sir Guy in the face. 
That he was never on' a woman borne 
Could tell who Sir Guye was. 

43. Saies, Lye there, lye there, good Sir Guye, 

And with me not wrothe ; 
If thou have had the worse stroakes at my hand. 
Thou shalt have the better cloathe. 

44. Robin did off his gowne of greene. 

Sir Guye he did it throwe ; 
And he put on that capull-hyde 
That clad him topp to toe. 

45. <*Tis bowe, the arrowes, and litle home. 

And with me now I'll beare; 
For now I will goe to Barnesdale, 
To see how my men doe fare." 

46. Robin sett Guye's home to his mouth, 

A lowd blast in it he did blow ; 
That beheard the sheriffe of Nottingham, 
As he leaned under a lowe.* 

47. " Hearken ! hearken ! " sayd the sheriffe, 

" I heard noe tydings but good ; 
For yonder I heare Sir Guye's home blowe. 
For he hath slaine Robin Hoode. 

- Maiden. 

' Dangerous, or perhaps simply backward, backhanded. 

* On is frequently used for o/. 

* Hillock. 



i3i8 



THE BALLAD 

48. " For yonder I heare Sir Guye's home blowe. 

It blowes soe well in tyde, 
For yonder comes that wighty yeoman 
Cladd in his capuU-hyde. 

49. ** Come hither, thou good Sir Guy, 

Aske of mee what thou wilt have:** 
"I'll none of thy gold,** sayes Robin Hood, 
"Nor I'll none of it have. 

50. "But now I have slaine the master,** he sayd, 

" Let me goe strike the knave ; 
This is all the reward I aske. 
Nor noe other will I have.** 

51. "Thou art a madman,** said the sheriffe, 

"Thou sholdest have had a knight's fee; 
Seeing thy asking hath beene soe badd, 
Well granted it shall be.** 

52. But Litle John heard his master speake, 

Well he knew that was his steven;' 
"Now shall I be loset,** quoth Litle John, 
"With Christ's might in heaven.** 

53. But Robin hee hyed him towards Litle John, 

Hee thought hee wold loose him belive; 
The sheriffe and all his companye 
Fast after him did drive. 

54. " Stand abacke ! stand abacke ! ** sayd Robin ; 

" Why draw you mee soe neere ? 
It was never the use in our countrye 
One's shrift another should heere.** 

55. But Robin pulled forth an Irysh kniffe. 

And losed John hand and foote. 
And gave him Sir Guye's bow in his hand, 
And bade it be his boote. 

56. But John tooke Guye's bow in his hand 

(His arrowes were rawstye'' by the roote); 
The sherriffe saw Litle John draw a bow 
And fettle him to shoote. 

57. Towards his house in Nottingham 

He fled full fast away. 



1 Voice. 'Rusty. 



THE BALLAD j^iq 

And so did all his companye. 
Not one behind did stay. 

58. But he cold neither soe fast goe. 
Nor away soe fast runn, 
But Litle John, with an arrow broade, 
Did cleave his heart in twinn. 



THE HUNTING OF THE CHEVIOT 

[This is the older and better version of the famous ballad. The younger 
version was the subject of Addison's papers in the Spectator.] 

1. '"p^HE Percy out of Northumberlande, 

I and a vowe to God mayd he 

That he would hunte in the mountayns 
of Cheviot within days thre. 
In the magger' of doughty Douglas, 
and all that ever with him be. 

2. The fattiste hartes in all Cheviot 

he sayd he would kyll, and cary them away: 
*Be my feth,* sayd the doughty Douglas agayn, 
"I will let' that hontyng if that I may.'* 

3. Then the Percy out of Banborowe cam, 

with him a myghtee meany,^ 
With fifteen hondred archares bold of blood and bone 
they were chosen out of shyars thre. • 

4. This began on a Monday at mom, 

in Cheviot the hillys so he ; 
The chyld may rue that ys unborn, 
it was the more pitte. 

5. The dryvars thorowe the woodes went, 

for to reas the deer; 
Bowmen byckarte uppone the bent* 
with their browd arrows cleare. 

6. Then the wyld thorowe the woodes went, 

on every syde shear; 
Greahondes thorowe the grevis glent,* 
for to kyll their deer. 

7. This begane in Cheviot the hyls abone, 

yerly on a Monnyn-day; 

*<Maugre,> in spite of. ^ joinder. ^Company. 

•Skirmished on the field. 'Ran through the groves. 



1320 



THE BALLAD 

Be that it drewe to the hour of noon, 
a hondred fat hartes ded ther lay. 

8. They blewe a mort' uppone the bent, 

they semblyde on sydis shear; 
To the quyrry then the Percy went, 
to see the bryttlynge ^ of the deere. 

9. He sayd, ** It was the Douglas promys 

this day to met me hear; 
But I wyste he wolde faylle, verament;'' 
a great oth the Percy swear. 

ID. At the laste a squyar of Northumberlande 
lokyde at his hand full ny ; 
He was war a the doughtie Douglas commynge, 
with him a myghte meany. 

11. Both with spear, bylle, and brande, 

yt was a myghte sight to se ; 
Hardyar men, both of hart nor hande, 
were not in Cristiante. 

12. They were twenty hondred spear-men good, 

withoute any fail; 
They were borne along be the water a Twyde, 
yth bowndes of Tividale. 

13. "Leave of the brytlyng of the deer,'* he said, 

«and to your bows look ye tayk good hede; 
For never sithe ye were on your mothers borne 
had ye never so mickle nede." 

14. The doughty Douglas on a stede, 

he rode alle his men beforne; 
His armor glytteyrde as dyd a glede:' 
a boldar barne was never born. 

15. "Tell me whose men ye are," he says, 

" or whose men that ye be : 
Who gave youe leave to hunte in this Cheviot chay.s 
in the spyt of myn and of me." 

16. The first man that ever him an answer mayd, 

yt was the good lord Percy : 
«We wyll not tell the whose men we are," he says, 
"nor whose men that we be; 

'Blast blown when game is killed. 'Quartering, cutting. 'Flame. 



THE BALLAD 



1321 



But we wyll hounte here in this chays, 
in spyt of thyne and of the. 

17. "The fattiste hartes in all Cheviot 

we have kyld, and cast to carry them away:'* 
«Be my troth," sayd the doughty Douglas agayn, 
"therefor the tone of us shall die this day." 

J 8, Then sayd the doughte Douglas 
unto the lord Percy, 
<*To kyll alle thes giltles men, 
alas, it wear great pitte ! 

19. "But, Percy, thowe art a lord of lande, 
I am a yerle callyd within my contre ; 
Let all our men uppone a parti stande, 
and do the battell of the and of me." 

30. "Nowe Cristes curse on his crowne," sayd the lord 
Percy, 
" whosoever thereto says nay : 
Be my troth, doughty Douglas," he says, 
" thow shalt never se that day. 

21. "Nethar in Ynglonde, Skottlonde, nor France, 

nor for no man of a woman born. 
But, and fortune be my chance, 

I dar met him, one man for one." 

22. Then bespayke a squyar of Northumberlande, 

Richard Wytharyngton was his name : 
"It shall never be told in Sothe-Ynglonde," he say?, 
" To Kyng Herry the Fourth for shame. 

23. " I wat youe byn great lordes twa, 

I am a poor squyar of lande : 
I wylle never se my captayne fyght on a fylde, 

and stande my selffe and looke on. 
But whylle I may my weppone welde, 

I wylle not fayle both hart and hande." 

24. That day, that day, that dredfull day! 

the first fit here I fynde;' 
And you wyll hear any more a the hountyng a thw 
Cheviot 
yet ys ther mor behynde. 
Perhaps "finish." 



1322 



THE BALLAD 



25. The Yngglyshe men had their bowys ybent, 
ther hartes were good yenoughe ; 
The first of arrows that they shote off, 
seven skore spear-men they sloughe. 

z6. Yet bides the yerle Douglas upon the bent, 
a captayne good yenoughe, 
And that was sene verament, 

for he wrought hem both wo and wouche. 

27. The Douglas partyd his host in thre, 

like a chief chieftain of pryde; 
With sure spears of myghtty tre, 
they cum in on every syde : 

28. Throughe our Yngglyshe archery 

gave many a wounde fulle wyde; 
Many a doughty they garde to dy, 
which ganyde them no pryde. 

29. The Ynglyshe men let ther bowes be, 

and pulde out brandes that were brighte; 
It was a heavy syght to se 

bryght swordes on basnites lyght. 

30. Thorowe ryche male and myneyeple,' 

many sterne they strocke down straight; 
Many a freyke' that was fulle fre, 
there under foot dyd lyght. 

31. At last the Douglas and the Percy met, 

lyk to captayns of myght and of mayne; 
The swapte together tylle they both swat, 
with swordes that were of fine milan. 

32. These worthy freckys for to fyght, 

ther-to they were fulle fayne, 
Tylle the bloode out off their basnetes sprente, 
as ever dyd hail or rayn. 

33. "Yield thee, Percy,'* sayd the Douglas, 

" and i faith I shalle thee brynge 
Where thowe shalte have a yerls wagis 
of Jamy our Scottish kynge. 

34. " Thou shalte have thy ransom fre, 

I hight' the here this thinge; 

*-*A gauntlet covering hand and forearm." 'Man. 'Promise. 



THE BALLAD 1333 

For the manfullyste man yet art thow 

that ever I conqueryd in fielde fighttynge." 

35. <*Nay," sayd the lord Percy, 

" I tolde it thee beforne, 
That I wolde never yeldyde be 
to no man of a woman born." 

36. With that ther came an arrow hastely, 

forthe off a myghtty wane;' 
It hath strekene the yerle Douglas 
in at the brest-bane. 

37. Thorowe lyvar and lunges bothe 

the sharpe arrowe ys gane, 
That never after in all his lyfe-days 

he spayke mo wordes but ane : 
That was, " Fyghte ye, my myrry men, whyllys ye 
may, 

for my lyfe-days ben gane.* 

38. The Percy leanyde on his brande, 

and sawe the Douglas de; 
He tooke the dead man by the hande, 
and said, " Wo ys me for thee ! 

39. *To have savyde thy lyfe, I would have partyde 

with 
my landes for years three. 
For a better man, of hart nor of hande, 
was not in all the north contre." 

40. Of all that see a Scottish knyght, 

was callyd Sir Hewe the Monggombyrry ; 
He saw the Douglas to the death was dyght, 
he spendyd a spear, a trusti tree. 

41. He rode upon a corsiare 

throughe a hondred archery: 
He never stynttyde nor never blane, ' 
till he came to the good lord Percy. 

42. He set upon the lorde Percy 

a dynte that was full sore; 
With a sure spear of a myghtte tree 

clean thorow the body he the Percy ber,' 

43. A the tother syde that a man might see 

a large cloth-yard and mare: 

•Meaning tmcertain. "Stopped. ^Pierced. 



^324 



THE BALLAD 



Two better captayns were not in Cristiante 
than that day slain were there. 

44. An archer off Northumberlande 

saw slain was the lord Percy; 
He bore a bende bowe in his hand, 
was made of trusti tree ; 

45. An arrow, that a cloth-yarde was long, 

to the harde stele halyde he; 
A dynt that was both sad and soar 

he set on Sir Hewe the Monggombyrry. 

46. The dynt yt was both sad and sore. 

that he of Monggombyrry set; 
The swane-fethars that his arrowe bar 
with his hart-blood they were wet. 

47. There was never a freak one foot wolde flee, 

but still in stour> dyd stand, 
Hewyng on eache other, whyle they myghte dre*^' 
with many a balefull brande. 

48. This battel! begane in Cheviot 

an hour before the none, 
And when even-songe bell was rang, 
the battell was not half done. 

49. They took ... on either hande 

by the iyght of the mone; 
Many hade no strength for to stande, 
in Cheviot the hillys abon. 

50. Of fifteen hundred archers of Ynglonde 

went away but seventy and three; 
Of twenty hundred spear-men of Scotlonde, 
but even five and fifty. 

51. But all were slayne Cheviot within; 

they had no strength to stand on hy; 
The chylde may rue that ys unborne, 
it was the more pitte. 

52. There was slayne, withe the lord Percy, 

Sir John of Agerstone, 
Sir Rogar, the hinde Hartly, 

Sir Wyllyam, the bold Hearone. 

Stress of battle. 



THE BALLAD 



1325 



53. Sir George, the worthy Louinle, 

a knyghte of great renown, 
Sir Raff, the ryche Rugbe, 

with dyntes were beaten downc. 

54. For Wetharryngton my harte was wo, 

that ever he slayne shulde be ; 
For when both his leggis were hewyn in to, 
yet he kneeled and fought on hys knee. 

55. There was slayne. with the doughty Douglas. 

Sir Hewe the IMonggonibyrry, 
Sir Davy Lwdale, that worthy was, 
his sister's son was he. 

56. Sir Charles a Mitrre in that place, 

that never a foot wolde fle; 
Sir Hewe Maxwelle, a lorde he was, 
with the Douglas dyd he die. 

57. So on the morrowe they maj'de them biers 

off birch and hasell so gray; 
Many widows, with weepyng tears, 
came to fetch ther makys' away. 

58. Tivydale may carpe of care, 

Northumberland may mayk great moan. 

For two such captayns as slayne were there, 

on the March-parti shall never be none. 

59. Word ys commen to Eddenburrowe, 

to Jamy the Scottische kynge. 
That doughty Douglas, lyff-tenant of the Marches, 
he lay slean Cheviot within. 

60. His handdes dyd he weal and wryng, 

he sayd, "Alas, and woe ys me! 
Such an othar captayn Skotland within,'' 
he sayd, " i-faith should never be." 

61. Worde ys commyn to lovely Londone, 

till the fourth Harry our kynge. 
That lord Percy, leyff-tenante of the Marchis, 
he lay slayne Cheviot within. 

62. "God have merci on his soule," sayde Kyng Harry, 

*' good lord, yf thy will it be ! 



•Mates. 



1326 



THE BALLAD , 

I have a hondred captayns in Ynglonde,* lie sayd, 

* as good as ever was he : 
But Percy, and I brook my lyfe, 

thy deth well quyte shall be." 

63. As our noble kynge mayd his avowe, 

lyke a noble prince of renown, 
For the deth of the lord Percy 

he dyd the battle of Hombyll-down ; 

64. Where syx and thirty Skottishe knyghtes 

on a day were beaten down: 
Glendale glytteryde on their armor bryght, 
over castille, towar, and town. 

65. This was the hontynge of the Cheviot, 

that teari begane this spurn; 
Old men that knowen the grownde well enoughe 
call it the battell of Otterburn. 

6(>. At Otterburn begane this spurne 
upon a Monnynday; 
There was the doughty Douglas slean, 
the Percy never went away. 

6t. There was never a tyme on the Marche-partes 
sen the Douglas and the Percy met. 
But yt ys mervele and the rede blude ronne not, 
as the rain does in the stret. 

68. Jesus Christ our bales' bete, 
and to the bliss us bring! 
Thus was the hunting of the Cheviot; 
God send us alle good ending I 



JOHNIE COCK 

U" 



I, y yp JoHNiE raise* in a May morning, 

Calld for water to wash his hands. 
And he has called for his gude gray hounds 
That lay bound in iron bands, bands, 
That lay bound in iron bands. 



3. "Ye'll busk,* ye'll busk my noble dogs. 
Ye '11 busk and make them boun,' 

'That there (?). 'Evils. 'Rose. * Prepare. » Ready. 



THE BALLAD 



1337 



For I'm going to the Braidscaur hill 
To ding the dun deer doun." 

3. Johnie's mother has gotten word o' that, 

And care-bed she has ta'en:' 
*<0 Johnie, for my benison, 

I beg you'll stay at hame; 
For the wine so red, and the well-baken bread, 

My Johnie shall want nana. 

4. " There are seven forsters at Pickeram Side, 

At Pickeram where they dwell, 
And for a drop of thy heart's bluid 
They wad ride the fords of hell." 

5. But Johnie has cast off the black velvet, 

And put on the Lincoln twine, 
And he is on the goode greenwood 
As fast as he could gang. 

6. Johnie lookit east, and Johnie lookit west. 

And he lookit aneath the sun, 
And there he spied the dun deer sleeping 
Aneath a buss o' whun.' 

7. Johnie shot, and the dun deer lap,' 

And she lap wondrous wide, 
Until they came to the wan water, 
And he stem'd her of her pride. 

8. He has ta'en out the little pen-knife, 

'Twas full three quarters* long, 
And he has ta'en out of that dun deer 
The liver but and^ the tongue. 

9. They eat of the flesh, and they drank of the blood, 

And the blood it was so sweet, 
Which caused Johnie and his bloody hounds 
To fall in a deep sleep. 

10. By then came an old palmer, 

And an ill death may he die! 
For he's away to Pickeram Side 
As fast as he can drie.* 

'•Has fallen ill with anxiety. * Quarter^ the fourth part of a yard, 

'Bush of whin, furze. *«But and"=as well as. 

^ Leaped. • Bear, endiu-e. 



]$28 



THE BALLAD 



11. <* What news, what news?** says the Seven Forster;. 

"What news have ye brought to me?" 
"I have no news,** the palmer said, 
" But what I saw with my eye. 

12. ** As I came in by Braidisbanks, 

And down among the whuns, 
The bonniest youngster e'er I saw 
Lay sleepin amang his hunds. 

13. "The shirt that was upon his back 

Was o' the hoUand fine; 
The doublet which was over that 
Was o' the Lincoln twine.'* 

14. Up bespake the Seven Forsters, 

Up bespake they ane and a': 

" O that is Johnie o' Cockleys Well, 

And near him we will draw.** 

15. O the first stroke that they gae him. 

They struck him off by the knee; 
Then up bespake his sister's son: 
" O the next '11 gar ' him die ! ** 

16. " O some they count ye well wight men. 

But I do count ye nane; 
For you might well ha' waken'd me, 
And ask'd gin I wad be ta'en. 

17. " The wildest wolf as in a' this wood 

Wad not ha' done so by me ; 
She'd ha' wet her foot i' the wan watej. 

And sprinkled it o'er my brae, 
And if that wad not ha' waken'd me. 

She wad ha' gone and let me be. 

18. " O bows of yew, if ye be true. 

In London, where ye were bought, 
Fingers five, get up belive,'' 

Manhuid shall fail me nought.** 

19. He has kill'd the Seven Forsters, 

He has kill'd them all but ane. 

And that wan scarce to Pickeram Side, 

To carry the bode-words hame. 

Make, cause. ' Quickly. 



THE BALLAD 1329 

20. *' Is there never a [bird] in a' this wood 

That will tell what I can say: 
That will go to Cockleys Well, 

Tell my mither to fetch me away?'* 

21. There was a [bird] into that wood, 

That carried the tidings away, 
And many ae' was the well-wight man 
At the fetching o' Johnie away. 



SIR PATRICK SPENS 

1. '^-^HF: king sits in Dumferling toune, 

I Drinking the bludc-reid wine : 

** O whar will I get guid sailor, 
To sail this ship of mine ? " 

2. Up and spak an eldern knight. 

Sat at the kings right kne : 
" Sir Patrick Spens is the best sailor. 
That sails upon the sea." 

3. The king has written a braid letter,'' 

And sign'd it wi' his hand, 
And sent it to Sir Patrick Spens, 
Was walking on the sand. 

4. . The first line that Sir Patrick read, 

A loud laugh laughed he ; 
The next line that Sir Patrick read, 
The tear blinded his ee. 

5. " O wha is this has done this deed. 

This ill deed done to me. 
To send me out this time o' the year. 
To sail upon the sea! 

6. "Make haste, make haste, my mirry men all, 

Our guide ship sails the morne:" 
**0 say na sae, my master dear, 
For I fear a deadlie storme. 

7. "Late, late yestreen I saw the new moone,' 

Wi' the auld moone in hir arme, 
> One. 

'' "^ braid letter, open or patent, in opposition to close rolls." — Percy. 
' Note that it is the sight of the new moon late in the evening which 
oiakes a bad omen, 
in — 84 



I330 



THE BALLAD 

And I fear, I fear, my dear master. 
That we will come to harme." 

8. O our Scots nobles were right laith 

To weet their cork-heeled shoone; 
But lang owre a' the play wer play'd, 
Their hats they swam aboone. 

9. O lang, lang may their ladies sit, 

W their fans into their hand, 
Or e'er they see Sir Patrick Spens 
Cum sailing to the land. 

10. O lang, lang may the ladies stand, 

Wi' their gold kerns' in their hair. 
Waiting for their ain dear lords. 
For they'll se thame na mair. 

11. Half owre, half owre to Aberdour, 

It's fiftie fadom deep, 
And their lies guid Sir Patrick Spens, 
Wi' the Scots lords at his feet. 



THE BONNY EARL OF MURRAY^ 



Y 



E Highlands, and ye Lawlands, 
Oh where have you been ? 

They have slain the Earl of Murray, 
And they layd him on the green. 



2. " Now wae be to thee, Huntly ! 

And wherefore did you sae ? 
I bade you bring him wi' you. 
But forbade you him to slay.'* 

3. He was a braw gallant, 

And he rid at the ring;' 
And the bonny Earl of Murray, 
Oh he might have been a king! 

4. He was a braw gallant. 

And he play'd at the ba'; 
And the bonny Earl of Murray 
Was the flower amang them a'. 

• Combs. 

' James Stewart, Earl of Murray, was killed by the Earl of Huntly's fol- 
lowers, February, 1592. The second stanza is spoken, of course, by the King. 

• Piercing with the lance a suspended ring, as one rode at full speed, was 
a favorite sport of the day. 



THE BALLAD 

He was a braw gallant, 

And he play'd at the glove;" 
And the bonny Earl of Murray, 

Oh he was the Queen's love! 

Oh lang will his lady 

Look o'er the Castle Down, 
E'er she see the Earl of Murray 

Come sounding thro the town! 



^si^ 



W 



MARY HAMILTON 

ord's gane to the kitchen, 

And word's gane to the ha'. 

That Marie Hamilton has born a bairn 
To the highest Stewart of a'. 



2. She's tyed it in her apron 

And she's thrown it in the sea; 
Says, " Sink ye, swim ye, bonny wee babe, 
You'll ne'er get mair o' me." 

3. Down then cam the auld Queen, 

Goud ^ tassels tying her hair : 
"O Marie, where's the bonny wee babe 
That I heard greet' sae sair?'* 

4. " There was never a babe infill my room. 

As little designs to be; 
It was but a touch o' my sair side, 
Came o'er my fair bodie.'* 

5. " O Marie, put on your robes o' black. 

Or else your robes o' brown, 
For ye maun gang wi' me the night. 
To see fair Edinbro town.'* 

6. " I winna put on my robes o' black. 

Nor yet my robes o' brown ; 
But I'll put on my robes o' white. 
To shine through Edinbro town.'* 

7. When she gaed up the Cannogate, 

She laugh'd loud laughters three; 
But when she cam down the Cannogate 
The tear blinded her ee. 

. • Probably this reference is to the glove worn by knights as a lady's favor, 
»Gold. » Weep. 



1332 THE BALLAD '. 

8. When she gaed up the Parliament stair. 

The heel cam aff her shee;* 
And lang or she cam down again 
She was condemn'd to dee. 

9. When she cam down the Cannogate, 

The Cannogate sae free, 
Many a ladie look'd o'er her window, 
Weeping for this ladie. 

ID. "Make never meen^ for me," she says, 
" Make never meen for me ; 
Seek never grace frae a graceless face. 
For that ye'U never see. 

11. "Bring me a bottle of wine,'* she says, 

" The best that e'er ye hae, 
That I may drink to my weil-wishers, 
And they may drink to me. 

12. "And here's to the jolly sailor lad 

That sails upon the faem ; 
But let not my father nor mother get wit 
But that I shall come again. 

13. "And here's to the jolly sailor lad 

That sails upon the sea; 
But let not my father nor mother get wit 
O' the death that I maun dee. 

14. " Oh little did my mother think, 

The day she cradled me, 
What lands I was to travel through, 
What death I was to dee. 

1 5. « Oh little did my father think, 

The day he held up'' me, 
What lands I was to travel through. 
What death I was to dee. 

16. "Last night I wash'd the Queen's feet. 

And gently laid her down ; 
And a' the thanks I've gotten the nicht 
To be hangd in Edinbro town ! 
' Shoe. 
'Moan. 

'Held up, lifted up, recognized as his lawful child, — a world-wide and 
,»acient ceremony. 



THE BALLAD 

17. " Last nicht there was four Maries, 
The nicht there'll be but three; 
There was Marie Seton, and Marie Beton, 
And Marie Carmichael, and me." 



BONNIE GEORGE CAMPBELL 



1353 



H 



IGH upon Highlands, 
and low upon Tay, 
Bonnie George Campbell 
rade out on a day. 



2. Saddled and bridled 

and gallant rade he; 
Hame cam his guid horse, 
but never cam he. 

3. Out cam his auld mither 

greeting fu' sair, 
And out cam his bonnie bride 
riving her hair. 

4. Saddled and bridled 

and booted rade he ; 

Toom > hame cam the saddle, 

but never came he. 

5. ** My meadow lies green, 

and my corn is unshorn, 
My barn is to build, 

and my babe is unborn.*' 

6. Saddled and bridled 

and booted rade he; 
Toom hame cam the saddle, 
but never cam he. 

> Empty. 



1334 



THE BALLAD 



BESSIE BELL AND MARY GRAY* 



■ O 



Bessie Bell and Mary Gray, 
They war twa bonnie lasses! 
They biggit^ a bower on yon burn-brae.' 
And theekit* it oer wi rashes. 



2. They theekit it oer wi' rashes green. 

They theekit it oer wi' heather: 
But the pest cam frae the burrows-town, 
And slew them baith thegither. 

3. They thought to lie in Methven kirk-yard 

Amang their noble kin; 
But they maun lye in Stronach haugh, 
To biek forenent the sin.* 

4. And Bessie Bell and Mary Gray, 

They war twa bonnie lasses; 
They biggit a bower on yon burn-brae, 
And theekit it oer wi' rashes. 



THE THREE RAVENS* 

1. 'T~'here were three ravens sat on a tree, 

J[ Downe a downe, hay down, hay downe,' 
There were three ravens sat on a tree. 
With a downe, 
There were three ravens sat on a tree. 
They were as blacke as they might be. 

With a downe derrie, derrie, derrie, downe, downe. 

2. The one of them said to his mate, 

" Where shall we our breakfast take ? " 

3. " Downe in yonder greene field 

There lies a knight slain under his shield. 

* Founded on an actual event of the plague, near Perth, in 1645. See the 
interesting account in Professor Child's < Ballads,' Part vii., p. 75f. 

' Built. 

' A hill sloping down to a brook. 

* Thatched. 

' To bake in the rays of the sun. 

•The counterpart, or perhaps parody, of this ballad, called <The Twa 
Corbies, > is better known than the exquisite original. 

'The refrain, or burden, differs in another version o£ the ballad. 



THE BALLAD 1335 

4. "His hounds they lie down at his feete, 
So well they can their master keepe.' 

5. "His haukes they flie so eagerly, 
There's no fowle dare him come nie.* 

6. Downe there comes a fallow doe, 

As great with young as she might goe. 

7. She lift up his bloudy head, 

And kist his wounds that were so red. 

8. She got him up upon her backe. 
And carried him to earthen lake.' 

9. She buried him before the prime, 

She was dead herselfe ere even-song time. 

10. God send every gentleman 

Such haukes, such hounds, and such a leman. 



LORD RANDAL 

1. "/'~\ WHERE hae ye been. Lord Randal, my son ? 

\^_y O where hae ye been, my handsome young man ? 

"I hae been to the wild wood; mother, make my bed 
soon. 
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down." 

2. "Where gat ye your dinner. Lord Randal, my son? 
"Where gat ye your dinner, my handsome young man?" 
" I din'd wi' my true-love ; mother, make my bed soon, 
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down.** 

3. " What gat ye to your dinner. Lord Randal, my son ? 
What gat ye to your dinner, my handsome young man?* 
"I gat eels boiled in broo;* mother, make my bed soon, 
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down.'* 

4. " What became o' your bloodhounds, Lord Randal, my son ? 
What became o' your bloodhounds, my handsome young 

man ? " 
* O they swell'd and they died ; mother, make my bed soon, 
For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down." 

• Guard. ' Shroud of earth, burial. 

'Sweetheart, darling, literally " dear-one » (lief man). The word had origi- 
nally no offensive meaning. 
♦Broth. 



»336 



THE BALLAD 



5. "O I fear you are poison'd, Lord Randal, my son! 
O I fear you are poison'd, my handsome young man!* 
**0 yes! I'm poison'd; mother, make my bed soon, 
For I'm sick at the heart, and I fain wald lie down.**' 



EDWARD' 

1. " "\ X THY dois your brand sae drap wi bluid, 

YY Edward, Edward, 

Why dois your brand sae drap wi bluid, 
And why sae sad gang yee O ? " 
" O I hae killed my hauke sae guid, 

Mither, mither, 
O I hae killed my hauke sae guid. 
And I had nae mair bot hee O.** 

2. ** Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid, 

Edward, Edward, 
Your haukis bluid was nevir sae reid, 
My deir son I tell thee O.** 
*< O I hae killed my reid-roan steid, 
Mither, mither, 
O I hae killed my reid-roan steid. 
That erst was sae fair and frie O.** 

3. <* Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair, 

Edward, Edward, 
Your steid was auld, and ye hae gat mair. 
Sum other dule ye drie O.*" 
** O I hae killed my fadir deir, 

Mither, mither, 
O I hae killed my fadir deir, 
Alas, and wae is mee O ! >* 

'Frogs, toads, snakes, and the like were often served for fish, and of 
course were supposed to act as a poison. One variant has a verse to elabor- 
ate this: — 

« Where gat she those eels, Lord Randal, my son? 

Where gat she those eels, my handsome young man?** 

« 'Neath the bush o' brown bracken; mother, make my bed soon. 

For I'm weary wi' hunting, and fain wald lie down.** 

'One of the finest of our ballads. It was sent from Scotland to Percy by 
David Dalrymple. 

' You suffer some other sorrow. 



THE BALLAD 

" And whatten penance wul ye drie, for that, 

Edward, Edward, 
And whatten penance wul ye drie, for that ? 
My deir son, now tell me O." 
"I'll set my feit in yonder boat, 

Mither, mither, 
I'll set my feit in yonder boat. 
And I'll fare over the sea 0.>* 

" And what wul ye doe wi' your towers and your ha', 

Edward, Edward, 
And what wul ye doe wi' your towers and your ha'. 
That were sae fair to see O ? " 
" I'll let them stand till they doun fa', 

Mither, mither, 
I'll let them stand till they doun fa". 
For here nevir mair maun I bee O.** 

"And what wul ye leive to your bairns and your wife, 

Edward, Edward, 
And what wul ye leive to your bairns and your wife. 
When ye gang over the sea O ? " 
" The warldis room ; let them beg thrae life, 

Mither, mither. 
The warldis room ; let them beg thrae life. 
For them never mair wul I see O." 

" And what wul ye leive to your ain mither dear, 

Edward, Edward, 
And what will ye leive to your ain mither dear ? 
My dear son, now tell me O." 
" The curse of hell frae me sail ye beir, 

Mither, mither. 
The curse of hell frae me sail ye beir, 
Sic counsels ye gave to me O.** 



1337 



T 



THE TWA BROTHERS 

HERE were twa brethren in the north. 
They went to the school thegither; 
The one unto the other said, 
" Will you try a warsle ' afore ? >* 

' Wrestle. 



1338 THE BALLAD 

2. They warsled up, they warsled down, 

Till Sir John fell to the ground. 
And there was a knife in Sir Willie's pouch, 
Gied him a deadlie wound. 

3. " Oh brither dear, take me on your back, 

Carry me to yon burn clear. 
And wash the blood from off my wound. 
And it will bleed nae mair." 

4. He took him up upon his back, 

Carried him to yon burn clear. 
And washed the blood from off his wound, 
But aye it bled the mair, 

5. " Oh brither dear, take me on your back, 

Carry me to yon kirk-yard. 
And dig a grave baith wide and deep. 
And lay iny body there.** 

6. He's taen him up upon his back. 

Carried him to yon kirk-yard, 
And dug a grave baith deep and wide, 
And laid his body there. 

7. **But what will I say to my father dear. 

Gin he chance to say, Willie, whar's John?® 
*'Oh say that he's to England gone, 
To buy him a cask of wine.** 

8. " And what will I say to my mother dear. 

Gin she chance to say, Willie, whar's John ?*- 
*Oh say that he's to England gone. 
To buy her a new silk gown.** 

9. " And what will I say to my sister dear. 

Gin she chance to say, Willie, whar's John?' 
" Oh say that he's to England gone. 
To buy her a wedding ring.** 

lo. ** But what will I say to her you loe ' dear. 
Gin she cry. Why tarries my John ? ** 
* Oh tell her I lie in Kirk-land fair. 
And home again will never come.** 

* Love. 



THE BALLAD 



BABYLON; OR THE BONNIE BANKS O' FORDIE 



1339 



T 



HERE were three ladies lived in a bower. 
Eh vow bonnie, 
And they went out to pull a flower 
On the bonnie banks o' Fordie. 



2. They hadna pu'ed a flower but ane. 
When up started to them a banisht man. 

3. He's ta'en the first sister by her hand, 

And he's turned her round and made her stand. 

4. " It'e whether will ye be a rank robber's wife, 
Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife ? " 

5. " It's I'll not be a rank robber's wife, 

But I'll rather die by your wee pen-knife!" 

6. He's killed this may, and he's laid her by. 
For to bear the red rose company. 

7. He's taken the second ane by the hand, 

And he's turned her round and made her stand. 

8. " It's whether will ye be a rank robber's wife. 
Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife ? ** 

9. " I'll not be a rank robber's wife, 

But I'll rather die by your wee pen-knife.* 

10. He's killed this may, and he's laid her by. 
For to bear the red rose company. 

11. He's taken the youngest ane by the hand, 

And he's turned her round and made her stand. 

12. Says, "Will ye be a rank robber's wife. 
Or will ye die by my wee pen-knife ? '* 

13. "I'll not be a rank robber's wife. 
Nor will I die by yoirr wee pen-knife. 

14. " For I hae a brother in this wood. 
And gin ye kill me, it's he'll kill thee.'* 

15. "What's thy brother's name? Come tell to me.» 
"My brother's name is Baby Lon." 



I340 



THE BALLAD 

1 6. «0 sister, sister, what have I done! 
O have I done this ill to thee ! 

17. <' O since I've done this evil deed, 
(xood sail never be seen o' me." 

18. He's taken out his wee pen-knife, 

And he's twyned' himsel o' his own sweet life. 



c 



CHILDE MAURICE'^ 

HiLDE Maurice hunted i' the silver wood, 
He hunted it round about, 
And noebodye that he found therein. 
Nor none there was without. 



2. He says, " Come hither, thou little foot-page, 

That runneth lowlye by my knee, 
For thou shalt goe to John Steward's wife 
And pray her speake with me. 

3. « 

I, and greete thou doe that ladye well. 
Ever soe well fro me. 

4. "And, as it falls, as many times 

As knots beene knit on a kell,'' 
Or marchant men gone to leeve London 
Either to buy ware or sell. 

5. "And, as it falles, as many times 

As any hart can thinke. 
Or schoole-masters are in any .schoole-house 

Writing with pen and inke : 
For if I might, as well as she may, 

This night I would with her speake. 

• Parted, deprived. 

'It is worth while to quote Gray's praise of this ballad: — «I have got the 
old Scotch ballad on which < Douglas > [the well-known tragedy by HomeJ 
was founded. It is divine. . . . Aristotle's best rules are observed in a 
manner which shows the author never had heard of Aristotle. » — Letter to 
Mason, in < Works,' ed. Gosse, ii. 316. 

" That is, the page is to greet the lady as many times as there are knots 
in nets for the hair {kell), or merchants going to dear {leeve, lief) London, 
or thoughts of the heart, or schoolmasters in all scboolhouses. These multi- 
plied and comparative greetings are common in folk-lore, particularly in Ger- 
man popular lyric. 



THE BALLAD 

6. "And heere I send her a mantle of greene, 

As greene as any grasse, 
And bid her come to the silver wood. 
To hunt with Child Maurice. 

7. " And there I send her a ring of gold, 

A ring of precious stone. 
And bid her come to the silver wood, 
Let' for no kind of man." 

8. One while this little boy he yode,' 

Another while he ran. 
Until he came to John Steward's hall, 
I-wis' he never blan.* 

9. And of nurture the child had good, 

He ran up hall and bower free. 

And when he came to this ladye faire, 

Sayes, " God you save and see ! ^ 

10. "I am come from Child Maurice, 

A message unto thee ; 
And Child Maurice, he greetes you well, 
And ever soe well from me. 

11. "And as it falls, as oftentimes 

As knots beene knit on a kell. 
Or marchant men gone to leeve London 
Either for to buy ware or sell. 

12. "And as oftentimes he greetes you well 

As any hart can thinke. 
Or schoolemasters are in any schoole, 
Wryting with pen and inke. 

13. "And heere he sends a mantle of greene/ 

As greene as any grasse. 
And he bids j'ou come to the silver wood 
To hunt with Child Maurice. 

14. " And heere he sends you a ring of gold, 

A ring of the precious stone ; 
He prayes you to come to the silver wood 
Let for no kind of man.'* 

'■Let (desist) is an infinitive depending on bid. 
^Went, walked. ^Certainly. 

* Stopped. '" Protect. 

'These, of course, are tokens of the Childe's identity. 



1 341 



1342 



THE BALLAD ' 

15. *Now peace, now peace, thou little foot-page, 

For Christes sake, I pray thee! 
For if my lord heare one of these words, 
Thou must be hanged hye ! >* 

16. John Steward stood under the castle wall, 

And he wrote the words everye one, 



17. And he called upon his hors-keeper, 

" Make ready you my steede ! *> 

I, and soe he did to his chamberlaine, 

" Make ready thou my weede ! ' 

18. And he cast a lease ^ upon his backe, 

And he rode to the silver wood, 
And there he sought all about. 
About the silver wood. 

19. And there he found him Child Maurice 

Sitting upon a blocke. 
With a silver combe in his hand, 
Kembing his yellow lockes. 



20. But then stood up him Child Maurice, 

And sayd these words trulye : 
**I doe not know your ladye," he said, 
<* If that I doe her see. '* 

21. He sayes, "How now, how now, Child Maurice? 

Alacke, how may this be ? 
For thou hast sent her love-tokens, 
More now then two or three; 

22. " For thou hast sent her a mantle of greene. 

As greene as any grasse. 
And bade her come to the silver woode 
To hunt with Child Maurice. 

23. ** And thou hast sent her a ring of gold, 

A ring of precyous stone, 
And bade her come to the silver wood. 
Let for no kind of man, 

^ Clothes. ' Leash. 



THE BALLAD 134^ 

24. "And by my faith, now, Child Maurice, 

The tone' of us shall dye!" 
«Now be my troth," sayd Child Maurice, 
«And that shall not be I.» 

25. But he pulled forth a bright browne ' sword. 

And dryed it on the grasse. 
And soe fast he smote at John Steward, 
I-wisse he never did rest. 

26. Then he ' pulled forth his bright browne sword, 

And dryed it on his sleeve, 
And the first good stroke John Stewart stroke. 
Child Maurice head he did cleeve. 

27. And he pricked it on his sword's poynt, 

Went singing there beside, 
And he rode till he came to that ladye faire. 
Whereas this ladye lyed.* 

28. And sayes, " Dost thou know Child Maurice head. 

If that thou dost it see ? 
And lap it soft, and kisse it oft, 

For thou lovedst him better than me." 

29. But when she looked on Child Maurice head, 

She never spake words but three: — 
" I never beare no childe but one. 

And you have slaine him trulye." 

30. Sayes, ^ ** Wicked be my merrymen all, 

I gave meate, drinke, and clothe! 
But could they not have holden me 
When I was in all that wrath ! 

31. " For I have slaine one of the curteousest knights 

That ever bestrode a steed. 
So* have I done one of the fairest ladyes 
That ever ware woman's weede ! " 

•That one = the one. That is the old neuter form of the definite article. 
Cf. the tother for that other. 

' Brown, used in this way, seems to mean burnished, or glistening, and is 
found in Anglo-Saxon. 

' He, John Steward. 

* Lived. 

' John Steward. 

• Compare the similar swiftness of tragic development in < Babylon.* 



»344 



THE BALLAD 



THE WIFE OF USHER'S WELL 



T 



HERE lived a wife at Usher's Well, 
And a wealthy wife was she ; 

She had three stout and stalwart sons, 
And sent them o'er the sea. 



2. They hadna been a week from her, 

A week but barely ane, 
When word came to the carlin * wife 
That her three sons were gane. 

3. They hadna been a week from her, 

A week but barely three. 
When word camj to the carlin wife 
That her sons she'd never see. 

4. " I wish the wind may never cease, 

Nor fashes '^ in the flood. 
Till my three sons come hame to me, 
In earthly flesh and blood." 

5. It fell about the Martinmass,' 

When nights are lang and mirk. 

The carlin wife's three sons came hame. 

And their hats were o' the birk.* 

6. It neither grew in syke* nor ditch, 

Nor yet in ony sheugh,'' 
But at the gates o' Paradise, 
That birk grew fair eneugh. 



7. "Blow up the fire, my maidens! 
Bring water from the well ! 
For a' my house shall feast this night, 
Since my three sons are well." 

* Old woman. 

' Lockhart's clever emendation for the fishes of the Ms. Fashes = dis- 
turbances, storms. 

' November nth. Another version gives the time as «the hallow days of 
Yule.» 

* Birch. 

* Marsh. 

* Furrow, ditch. 



THE BALLAD 1345 

8. And she has made to them a bed, 
She's made it large and wide, 
And she's ta'en her mantle her about, 
Sat down at the bed-side. 



9. Up then crew the red, red cock,' 
And up and crew the gray; 
The eldest to the youngest said, 
" 'Tis time we were away." 

10. The cock he hadna craw'd but once, 

And clapp'd his wing at a', 
When the youngest to the eldest said, 
** Brother, we must awa". 

11. "The cock doth craw, the day doth daw. 

The channerin^ worm doth chide; 
Gin we be mist out o' our place, 
A sair pain we maun bide. 

12. "Fare ye weel, my mother dear! 

Fareweel to barn and byre! 
And fare ye weel, the bonny lass 
That kindles my mother's fire ! ** 



S'WEET WILLIAM'S GHOST 



■• w 



HA.\ bells war rung, an mass was sung, 
A wat^ a' man to bed were gone, 

Clark Sanders came to Margret's W'indow, 
With mony a sad sigh and groan. 



2. "Are ye sleeping, Margret," he says, 
" Or are ye waking, presentlie ? 
Give me my faith and trouth again, 
A wat, true-love, I gied to thee.'* 

1 In folk-lore, the break of day is announced to demons and ghosts by 
three cocks, — usually a white, a. red, and a black; but the colors, and even 
the numbers, vary. At the third crow, the ghosts must vanish. This applies 
to guilty and innocent alike; of course, the sons are "spirits of health.'* 

2 Fretting. 

'«I wot,» "I know,'* = truly, in sooth. The same in 5'^ 6^ 7*, S'^. 
m— 8s 



1346 



THE BALLAD t, 

3. <<Your faith and trouth ye's never get, 

Nor our true love shall never twin,* 
Till ye come with me in my bower, 
And kiss me both cheek and chin.* 

4. «My mouth it is full cold, Margret, 

It has the smell now of the ground; 
And if I kiss thy comely mouth. 
Thy life-days will not be long. 

5. ** Cocks are crowing a merry mid-larf,' 

I wat the wild fule boded day; 
Give me my faith and trouth again. 
And let me fare me on my way." 

6. " Thy faith and trouth thou shall na get, 

Nor our true love shall never twin. 
Till ye tell me what comes of women 
A wat that dy's in strong traveling."* 

7. " Their beds are made in the heavens high, 

Down at the foot of our good Lord's knee, 
Well set about wi' gilly-flowers, 

A wat sweet company for to see. 

8. * O cocks are crowing a merry mid-larf, 

A wat the wild fule boded day; 
The salms of Heaven will be sung. 
And ere now I'll be missed away.* 

9. Up she has taen a bright long wand. 

And she has straked her trouth thereon;* 
She has given it him out at the shot-window, 
Wi mony a sad sigh and heavy groan. 

10. "I thank you, Margret, I thank you, Margret, 
And I thank you heartilie; 
Gin ever the dead come for the quick, 

Be sure, Margret, I'll come again for thee.* 

' Part, separate. She does not yet know he is dead. 

* Probably the distorted name of a town ; a = in. « Cocks are crowing in 
merry , and the wild-fowl announce the dawn.* 

' That die in childbirth. 

* Margaret thus gives him back his troth-plight by « stroking* it upon the 
wand, much as savages and peasants believe they can rid themselves of a 
disease by rubbing the affected part with a stick or pebble and flinging the 
latter into the road. 



THE BALLAD " 1347 

11. It's hose and shoon an gound' alane 

She clame the wall and followed him, 
Until she came to a green forest, 
On this she lost the sight of him. 

12. "Is there any room at your head, Sanders? 

Is there any room at your feet ? 
Or any room at your twa sides ? 
Where fain, fain woud I sleep.'* 

1 3. " There is nae room at my head, Margret, 

There is nae room at my feet; 
There is room at my twa sides. 
For ladys for to sleep. 

14. "Cold meaP is my covering owre, 

But an^ my winding sheet: 
My bed it is full low, I say, 

Among hungry worms I sleep. 

15. "Cold meal is my covering owre, 

But an my winding sheet: 
The dew it falls nae sooner down 
Than ay it is full weet." 



'Gown. 

'Mold, earth. 
'But and = also. 



1348 




HONORE DE BALZAC 

(1799-1850) 

BY WILLIAM P TRENT 

jONORE DE Balzac, by common consent the greatest of French 
novelists and to many of his admirers the greatest of all 
writers of prose fiction, was born at Tours, May 16th, 1799. 
Neither his family nor his place of birth counts for much in his artis- 
tic development; but his sister Laure, afterwards Madame Surville, — 
to whom we owe a charming sketch of her brother and many of his 
most delightful letters, — made him her hero through life, and gave 
him a sympathy that was better than any merely literary environ- 
ment. He was a sensitive child, little comprehended by his parents 
or teachers, which probably accounts for the fact that few writers 
have so well described the feelings of children so situated [See < Le 
lys dans la vallee ' (The Lily in the Valley) and 'Louis Lambert*]. 
He was not a good student, but undermined his health by desultory 
though enormous reading and by writing a precocious Treatise on the 
Will, which an irate master burned and the future novelist after- 
wards naively deplored. When brought home to recuperate, he turned 
from books to nature, and the effects of the beautiful landscape of 
Touraine upon his imagination are to be found throughout his writ- 
ings, in passages of description worthy of a nature-worshiper like 
Senancour himself. About this time a vague desire for fame seems 
to have seized him, — a desire destined to grow into an almost mor- 
bid passion; and it was a kindly Providence that soon after (18 14) 
led his family to quit the stagnant provinces for that nursery of 
ambition, Paris. Here he studied under new masters, heard lectures 
at the Sorbotine, read in the libraries, and finally, at the desire of 
his practical father, took a three years' course in law. 

He was now at the parting of the ways, and he chose the one 
nearest his heart. After much discussion, it was settled that he 
should not be obliged to return to the provinces with his family, or 
to enter upon the regular practice of law, but that he might try his 
luck as a writer on an allowance purposely fixed low enough to test 
his constancy and endurance. Two years was the period of probation 
allotted, during which time Balzac read still more widel)'^ and walked 
the streets studying the characters he met, all the while endeavoring 
to grind out verses for a tragedy on Cromwell. This, when com- 
pleted, was promptly and justly damned by his family, and he was 



HONORE DE BALZAC 134^ 

temporarily forced to retire from Paris. He ' did not give up his 
aspirations, however, and before long he was back in his attic, this 
time supporting himself by his pen. Novels, not tragedies, were 
what the public most wanted, so he labored indefatigably to supply 
their needs and his own necessities; not relinquishing, however, the 
hope that he might some day watch the performance of one of his 
own plays. His perseverance was destined to be rewarded, for he 
lived to write five dramas which fill a volume of his collected 
works; but only one, the posthumoits comedy 'Mercadet,' was even 
fairly successful. Yet that Balzac had dramatic genius his matured 
novels abundantly prove. 

The ten romances, however, that he wrote for cheap booksellers 
between 1822 and 1829 displayed so little genius of any sort that he 
was afterwards unwilling to cover their deficiencies with -his great 
name. They have been collected as youthful works (* OSiivrcs de 
jeunesse *), and are useful to a complete understanding of the evolu- 
tion of their author's genius; but they are rarely read even by his 
most devoted admirers. They served, however, to enable him to get 
through his long and heart-rending period of apprenticeship, and they 
taught him how to express himself; for this born novelist was not a 
born writer and had to labor painfully to acquire a style which only 
at rare moments quite fitted itself to the subject he had in hand. 

Much more interesting than these early sensational romances were 
the letters he wrote to his sister Laure, in which he grew eloquent 
over his ambition and gave himself needed practice in describ- 
ing the characters with whom he came in contact. But he had not 
the means to wait quietly and ripen, so he embarked in a publish- 
ing business which brought him into debt. Then, to make up his 
losses, he became partner in a printing enterprise which failed in 
1827, leaving him still more embarrassed financially, but endowed 
with a fund of experience which he turned to rich account as a nov- 
elist. Henceforth the sordid world of debt, bankruptcy, usury, and 
speculation had no mystery for him, and he laid it bare in novel 
after novel, utilizing also the knowledge he had gained of the law, 
and even pressing into service the technicalities of the printing office 
[See 'Illusions perdues* (Lost Illusions)]. But now at the age of 
twenty-eight he had over 100,000 francs to pay, and had written 
nothing better than some cheap stories; the task of wiping out his 
debts by his writings seemed therefore a more hopeless one than 
Scott's. Nothing daunted, however, he set to work, and the year 
that followed his second failure in business saw the composition of 
the first novel he was willing to acknowledge, * Les Chouans. ' This 
romance of Brittany in 1799 deserved the. praise it received from 
press and public, in spite of its badly jointed plot and overdrawn 



135° 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



characters. It still appeals to many readers, and is important to the 
*Comedie humaine > as being the only novel of the "Military Scenes." 
The < Physiology of Marriage* followed quickly (1829-30), and despite 
a certain pruriency of imagination, displayed considerable powers of 
analysis, powers destined shortly to distinguish a story which ranks 
high among its author's works, * La Maison du chat-qui-pelote > 
(1830). This delightful novelette, the queer title of which is nearly 
equivalent to *At the Sign of the Cat and the Racket,* showed in 
its treatment of the heroine's unhappy passion the intuition and pen- 
etration of the born psychologist, and in its admirable description of 
bourgeois life the pictorial genius of the genuine realist. In other 
words the youthful romancer was merged once for all in the matured 
novelist. The years of waiting and observation had done their work, 
and along the streets of Paris now walked the most profound analyst 
of human character that had scrutinized society since the days when 
William Shakespeare, fresh from Stratford, trod the streets and lanes 
of Elizabethan London. 

The year 1830 marks the beginning not merely of Balzac's success 
as the greatest of modern realists, but also of his marvelous literary 
activity. Novel after novel is begun before its predecessor is finished; 
short stories of almost perfect workmanship are completed; sketches 
are dashed off that will one day find their appropriate place in larger 
compositions, as yet existing only in the brain of the master. Nor is 
it merely a question of individual works: novels and stories are to 
form different series, — * Scenes from Private Life,' * Philosophical 
Novels and Tales,' — which are themselves destined to merge into 
< Studies of Manners in the Nineteenth Century,' and finally into the 
*■ Comedie humaine ' itself. Yet it was mote than a swarm of stories 
that was buzzing in his head; it was a swarm of individuals often 
more truly alive to him than the friends with whom he loved to con- 
verse about them. And just because he knew these people of his 
brain, just because he entered into the least details of their daily 
lives, Balzac was destined to become much more than a mere philos- 
opher or student of society; to wit, a creator of characters, endowed 
with that "absolute dramatic vision" which distinguishes Homer and 
Shakespeare and Chaucer. But because he was also something of a 
philosopher and student of sociology, he conceived the stupendous 
idea of linking these characters with one another and with their 
several environments, in order that he might make himself not 
merely the historian but also the creator of an entire society. In 
other words, conservative though he was, Balzac had the audacity to 
range himself by the side of Geoffrey Saint-Hilaire, and to espouse 
the cause of evolution even in its infancy. The great ideas of the 
mutability of species and of the influence of environment and heredity 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1351 



were, he thought, as applicable to sociology as to zoology, and as 
applicable to fiction as to either. So he meditated the <Comedie 
humaine * for several years before he announced it in 1842, and from 
being almost the rival of Saint-Hilaire he became almost the antici- 
pator of Darwin. 

But this idea of evolution was itself due to the evolution of his 
genius, to which many various elements contributed: his friendships 
and enmities with contemporary authors, his intimacies with women 
of refinement and fashion, his business struggles with creditors and 
publishers, his frequent journeys to the provinces and foreign coun- 
tries; and finally his grandiose schemes to surround himself with 
luxury and the paraphernalia of power, not so much for his own sake 
as for the sake of her whose least smile was a delight and an inspira- 
tion. About each of these topics an interesting chapter might be 
written, but here a few words must suffice. 

After his position as an author was more or less assured, Balzac's 
relations with the leaders of his craft — such as Victor Hugo, Theo- 
phile Gautier, and George Sand — were on the whole cordial. He 
had trouble with Sainte-Beuve, however, and often felt that his 
brother-writfirs begrudged his success. His constant attacks on con- 
temporary journalists, and his egotistic and erratic manners naturally 
prejudiced the critics, so that even the marvelous romance entitled 
* La Peau de chagrin > (The Magic Skin: 1831), — ^a work of superb 
genius, — speedily followed as it was by * Eugenie Grandet* and * Le 
Pere Goriot,* did not win him cordial recognition. One or two of 
his friendships, however, gave him a knowledge of higher social 
circles than he was by birth entitled to, a fact which should be 
remembered in face of the charge that he did not know high 
life, although it is of course true that a writer like Balzac, possessing 
the intuition of genius, need not frequent salons or live in hovels in 
order to describe them with absolute verisimilitude. 

With regard to Balzac's debts, the fact should be noted that he 
might have paid them off more easily and speedily had he been 
more prudent. He cut into the profits of his books by the costly 
changes he was always making in his proof-sheets, — changes which 
the artist felt to be necessary, but against which the publishers nat- 
urally protested. In reality he wrote his books on his proof-sheets, 
for he would cut and hack the original version and make new inser- 
tions until he drove his printers wild. Indeed, composition never 
became easy to him, although under a sudden inspiration he could 
sometimes dash off page after page while other men slept. He had, 
too, his affectations; he must even have a special and peculiar garb 
in which to write. All these eccentricities and his outside distractions 
and ambitions, as well as his noble and pathetic love affair, entered 



1352 HONORE DE BALZAC 

into the warp and woof of his work with effects that can easily be 
detected by the careful student, who should remember, however, 
that the master's foibles and peculiarities never for one moment set 
him outside the small circle of the men of supreme genius. He 
belongs to them by virtue of his tremendous grasp of life in its 
totality, his superhuman force of execution, and the inevitableness of 
his art at its best. 

The decade from 1830 to 1840 is the most prolific period of Bal- 
zac's genius in the creation of individual works; that from 1840 to 
1850 is his great period of philosophical co-ordination and arrange- 
ment. In the first he hewed out materials for his house; in the 
second he put them together. This statement is of course relatively 
true only, for we owe to the second decade three of his greatest 
masterpieces: ^Splendeurs et miseres des courtisanes,* and * La Cousine 
Bette* and * Le Cousin Pons, ' collectively known as < Les Parents 
pauvres* (Poor Relations). And what a period of masterful literary 
activity the first decade presents! For the year 1830 alone the 
Vicomte de Spoelberch de Lovenjoul gives seventy-one entries, many 
of slight importance, but some familiar to every student of modern 
literature, such as *E1 Verdugo,* < La Maison du cbat-qui-pelote,* 
'Gobseck,* < Adieu,* < Une Passion dans le desert* (A Passion in the 
Desert), * Un Episode sous la Terreur > (An Episode of the Terror). 
For 1 83 1 there are seventy-six entries, among them such masterpieces 
as * Le Requisitionnaire * (The Conscript), * Les Proscrits * (The Out- 
laws), * La Peau de chagrin,' and < Jesus-Christ en Flandre.* In 1832 
the number of entries falls to thirty-six, but among them are * Le Colo- 
nel Chabert,> < Le Cure de Tours > (The Priest of Tours), <La Grande 
Bretechc,* 'Louis Lambert,* and < Les Marana.* After this year there 
are fewer short stories. In 1833 we have * Le Medecin de campagne * 
(The Country Doctor), and < Eugenie Grandet,* with parts of the 
<Histoire des treize * (Story of the Thirteen), and of the * Contes 
drolatiques* (Droll Tales). The next year gives us < La Recherche 
de I'absolu* (Search for the Absolute) and < Le Pere Goriot* (Old 
Goriot) and during the next six there were no less than a dozen 
masterpieces. Such a decade of accomplishment is little short of 
miraculous, and the work was done imder stress of anxieties that 
would have crushed any normal man. 

But anxieties and labors were lightened by a friendship . which 
was an inspiration long before it ripened into love, and were rendered 
bearable both by Balzac's confidence in himself and by his ever 
nearer view of the goal he had set himself. The task before him was 
as stupendous as that which Comte had undertaken, and required not 
merely the planning and writing of new works but the utilization of 
all that he had previously written. LTntiring labor had to be devoted 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1353 



to this manipulation of old material, for practically the great output 
of the five years 1829- 1834 was to be co-ordinated internally, story 
being brought into relation with story and character with character. 
This meant the creation and management of an immense number of 
personages, the careful investigation of the various localities which 
served for environments, and the profound study of complicated 
social and political problems. No wonder, then, that the second 
decade of his maturity shows a falling off in abundance, though not 
in intensity of creative power: and that the gradual breaking down 
of his health, under the strain of his ceaseless efforts and of his 
abnormal habits of life, made itself more and more felt in the years 
that followed the great preface which in 1842 set forth the splendid 
design of the * Comedie humaine.' 

This preface, one of the most important documents in literary 
history, must be carefully studied by all who would comprehend 
Balzac in his entirety. It cannot be too often repeated that Balzac's 
scientific and historical aspirations are important only in so far as 
they caused him to take a great step forward in the development of 
his art. The nearer the artist comes to reproducing for us life in its 
totality, the higher the rank we assign him among his fellows. 
Tried by this canon, Balzac is supreme. His interweaving of charac- 
ters and events through a series of volumes gives a verisimilitude to 
his work unrivaled in prose fiction, and paralleled only in the work 
of the world-poets. In other words, his use of co-ordination upon a 
vast scale makes up for his lack of delicacy and sureness of touch, 
as compared with what Shakespeare and Homer and Chaucer have 
taught us to look for. Hence he is with them even if not of them. 

This great claim can be made for the Balzac of the * Comedie 
humaine* only; it could not be made for the Balzac of any one mas- 
terpiece like * Le Pere Goriot,* or even for the Balzac of all the 
masterpieces taken in lump and without co-ordination. Balzac by 
co-ordination has in spite of his limitations given us a world, just as 
Shakespeare and Homer have done; and so Taine was profoundly 
right when he put him in the same category with the greatest of all 
writers. When, however, he added St. Simon to Shakespeare, and 
proclaimed that with them Balzac was the greatest storehouse of doc- 
uments that we have on human nature, he was guilty not merely of 
confounding genres of art, but also of laying stress on the philosophic 
rather than on the artistic side of fiction. Balzac does make himself 
a great storehouse of documents on human nature, but he also does 
something far more important, he sets before us a world of living 
men and women. 

To have brought this world into existence, to have given it order 
in the midst of complexity, and that in spite of the fact that death 



1354 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



overtook him before he could complete his work, would have been 
sufficient to occupy a decade of any other man's life; but he, though 
harassed with illness and with hopes of love and ambition deferred, 
was strong enough to do more. The year 1840 saw the appearance 
of 'Pierrette,* and the establishment of the ill-fated * Revue parisi- 
enne.' The following year saw * Ursule Mirouet,* and until 1848 the 
stream of great works is practically unbroken. The < Splendeurs et 
miseres * and the < Parents pauvres * have been named already, but 
to these must be added <Un Menage de gargon* (A Bachelor's House- 
keeping), 'Modeste Mignon,> and < Les Paysans* (The Peasants). The 
three following years added nothing to his work and closed his life, 
but they brought him his crowning happiness. On March 14th, 1850, 
he was married to Mme. Hanska, at Berditchef ; on August 18th, 1850, 
he died at Paris. 

Madame Evelina de Hanska came into Balzac's life about 1833, just 
after he had shaken off the unfortunate influence of the Duchesse 
de Castries. The young Polish countess was much impressed, we 
are told, by reading the * Scenes de la vie privee * (Scenes of Private 
Life), and was somewhat perplexed and worried by Balzac's appar- 
ent change of method in 'La Peau de chagrin.' She wrote to him 
over the signature " L'Etrangere" (A Foreigner), and he answered 
in a series of letters recently published in the Revue de Paris. 
Not long after the opening of this correspondence the two met, and 
a firm friendship was cemented between them. The lady was about 
thirty, and married to a Russian gentleman of large fortune, to 
whom she had given an only daughter. She was in the habit of 
traveling about Europe to carry on this daughter's education, and 
Balzac made it his pleasure and duty to see her whenever he could, 
sometimes journeying as far as Vienna. In the interim he would 
write her letters which possess great charm and importance to the 
student of his life. The husband made no objection to the intimacy, 
trusting both to his wife and to Balzac; but for some time before 
the death of the aged nobleman, Balzac seems to have distrusted 
himself and to have held slightly aloof from the woman whom he 
was destined finally to love with all the fervor of his nature. Madame 
Hanska became free in the winter of 1842-3, and the next summer 
Balzac visited St. Petersburg to see her. His love soon became an 
absorbing passion, but consideration for her daughter's future with- 
held the lady's consent to a betrothal till 1846. It was a period of 
weary waiting, in which our sympathies are all on one side; for if 
ever a man deserved to be happy in a woman's love, it was Balzac. 
His happiness came, but almost too late to be enjoyed. His last 
two years, which he spent in Poland with Madame de Hanska, were 
oppressed by illness, and he returned to his beloved Paris only to die. 



HONORE DE BALZAC 1 35 5 

The struggle of thirty years was over, and although his immense 
genius was not yet fully recognized, his greatest contemporary, 
Victor Hugo, was magnanimous enough to exclaim on hearing that 
he was dying, "Europe is on the point of losing a great mind." 
Balzac's disciples feel that Europe really lost its greatest writer since 
Shakespeare. 

In the definitive edition of Balzac's writings in twenty-four vol- 
umes, seventeen are occupied by the various divisions of the * Comedie 
humaine.' The plays take up one volume; and the correspondence, 
not including of course the letters to " L'Etrangere," another; the 

* Contes drolatiques ' make still another ; and finally we have four 
volumes filled with sketches, tales, reviews, and historical and polit- 
ical articles left uncollected by their author. 

The * Contes* are thirty in number, divided into "dixains,'* each 
with its appropriate prologue and epilogue. They purport to have 
been collected in the abbeys of Touraine, and set forth by the Sieur 
de Balzac for the delight of Pantagruelists and none others. Not 
merely the spirit but the very language of Rabelais is caught with 
remarkable verve and fidelity, so that from the point of view of style 
Balzac has never done better work. A book which holds by Rabelais 
on the one hand and by the Queen of Navarre on the other is not 
likely, however, to appeal to that part of the English and American 
reading public that expurgates its Chaucer, and blushes at the men- 
tion of Fielding and Smollett. Such readers will do well to avoid the 

* Contes drolatiques;* although, like < Don Juan,* they contain a great 
deal of what was best in their author, — of his frank, ebullient, sens- 
uous nature, lighted up here at least by a genuine if scarcely deli- 
cate humor. Of direct suggestion of vice Balzac was, naturally, as 
incapable as he was of smug puritanism; but it must be confessed 
that as a raconteur his proper audience, now that the monastic orders 
have passed away, would be a group of middle-aged club-men. 

The * Comedie humaine * is divided into three main sections : first 
and most important, the 'Etudes de moeurs* (Studies of Manners), 
second the * Etudes philosophiques * (Philosophic Studies), and finally 
the 'Etudes analytiques* (Analytic Studies). These divisions, as M. 
Barriere points out in his ' L'CEuvre de H. de Balzac * (The Work 
of Balzac), were intended to bear to one another the relations that 
moral science, psychology, and metaphysics do to one another with 
regard to the life of man, whether as an individual or as a member 
of society. No single division was left complete at the author's 
death ; but enough was finished and put together to give us the sense 
of moving in a living, breathing world, no matter where we make 
our entry. This, as we have insisted, is the real secret of his great- 
ness. To think, for example, that the importance of < Seraphita * lies 



1356 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



in the fact that it gives Balzac's view of Swedenborgianism, or that 
the importance of * Louis Lambert > lies in its author's queer theories 
about the human will, is entirely to misapprehend his true position 
in the world of literature. His mysticism, his psychology, his theories 
of economics, his reactionary devotion to monarchy, and his idealiza- 
tion of the Chtirch of Rome, may or may not appeal to us, and have 
certainly nothing that is eternal or inevitable about them; but in his 
knowledge of the human mind and heart he is as inevitable and 
eternal as any writer has ever been, save only Shakespeare and 
Homer. 

The < Etudes de mceurs * were systematically divided by their 
author into < Scenes of Private Life,' * Scenes of Provincial Life,* 

* Scenes of Country Life,* * Scenes of Parisian Life,* * Scenes of Politi- 
cal Life,* and * Scenes of Military Life,' — the last three divisions rep- 
resenting more or less exceptional phases of existence. The group 
relating to Paris is by far the most important and powerful, but 
the provincial stories show almost as fine workmanship, and furnish 
not a few of the well-known masterpieces. Less interesting, though 
still important, are the < Scenes of Private Life,* which consist of 
twenty-four novels, novelettes, and tales, under the following titles: 

* Beatrix,* * Albert Savarus, * * La Fausse maitresse* (The False Mis- 
tress), * Le Message' (The Message), * La Grande Breteche,* 'Etude 
de femme > (Study of Woman), 'Autre etude de femme * (Another 
Study of Woman), < Madame Firmiani,* < Modeste Mignon,* < Un Debut 
dans la vie* (An Entrance upon Life), 'Pierre Grassou, * 'Memoires 
de deux jeimes mariees* (Recollections of a Young Couple), 'La 
Maison du chat-qui-pelote,* ' Le Bal de Sceaux* (The Ball of Sceaux), 
< Le Contrat de mariage * (The Marriage Contract), 'La Vendetta,' 
' La Paix du menage ' (Household Peace), ' Une Double famille * (A 
Double Family), 'Une Fille d'Eve ' (A Daughter of Eve), 'Honorine,* 
'La Femme abandonnee > (The Abandoned Wife), 'La Grenadiere,' 
'La Femme de trente ans' (The Woman of Thirty). 

Of all these stories, hardly one shows genuine greatness except the 
powerful tragic tale 'La Grande Breteche,* which was subsequently 
incorporated in 'Autre etude de femme.*' This story of a jealous hus- 
band's walling up his wife's lover in a closet of her chamber is as 
dramatic a piece of writing as Balzac ever did, and is almost if not 
quite as perfect a short story as any that has since been written in 
France. ' La Maison du chat-qui-pelote ' has been mentioned already 
on account of its importance in the evolution of Balzac's realism, but 
while a delightful novelette, it is hardly great, its charm coming 
rather from its descriptions of bourgeois life than from the working 
out of its central theme, the infelicity of a young wife married to an 
unfaithful artist. ' Modeste Mignon ' is interesting, and more romantic 



HOXURE DE BALZAC 



1357 



than Balzac's later works were wont to be; but while it may be 
safely recommended to the average novel-reader, few admirers of its 
author would wish to have it taken as a sample of their master. 
< Beatrix ' is a powerful story in its delineation of the weakness of the 
young Breton nobleman, Calyste du Guenic. It derives a factitious 
interest from the fact that George Sand is depicted in <Camille 
Maupin,* the no7n de plume of Mile, des Touches, and perhaps Balzac 
himself in Claude Vignon, the critic. Less factitious is the interest 
derived from Balzac's admirable delineation of a doting mother and 
aunt, and from his realistic handling of one of the cleverest of 
his ladies of light reputation, Madame Schontz; his studies of such 
characters of the demi-monde — especially of the wonderful Esther of 
the *Splendeurs et miseres' — serving plainly, by the way, as a point 
of departure for Dumas Jils. Yet * Beatrix ' is an able rather than a 
truly great book, for it neither elevates nor delights us. In fact, all 
the stories in this series are interesting rather than truly great; but 
all display Balzac's remarkable analytic powers. Love, false or true, 
is of course their main theme ; wrought out to a happy issue in * La 
Bourse,* a charming tale, or to a death of despair in <La Grena- 
diere.* The childless young married woman is contrasted with her 
more fortunate friend surrounded by little ones (^ Memoires de deux 
jeunes mariees *), the heartless coquette flirts once too often (* Le Bal 
de Sceaux'), the eligible young man is taken in by a scheming 
mother (* Le Contrat du mariage *), the deserted husband labors to 
win back his wife (* Honorine '), the tempted wife learns at last the 
real nature of her peril (* Une Fille d'Eve ') ; in short, lovers and 
mistresses, hiisbands and wives, make us participants of all the joys 
and sorrows that form a miniature world within the four walls of 
every house. 

The * Scenes of Provincial Life ' number only ten stories, but 
nearly all of them are masterpieces. They are * Eugenie Grandet,* 
*Le Lys dans la vallee,' < Ursule Mirouet,* 'Pierrette,' <Le Cure de 
Tours,' <La Rabouilleuse,' « La Vielle fille' (The Old Maid), -<Le 
Cabinet des antiques' (The Cabinet of Antiques), *L'Illustre Gaudis- 
sart' (The Illustrious Gaudissart), and *La Muse du departement' (The 
Departmental Muse). Of these 'Eugenie Grandet' is of course easily 
first in interest, pathos, and power. The character of old Grandet, 
the miserly father, is presented to us with Shakespearean vividness, 
although Eugenie herself has less than the Shakespearean charm. 
Any lesser artist would have made the tyrant himself and his yield- 
ing wife and daughters seem caricatures rather than living people. 
It is only the Shakespeares and Balzacs who are able to make their 
Shylocks and lagos, their Grandets and Philippe Brideaus, monsters 
and human beings at one and the same time. It is only the greater 



1358 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



artists, too, who can bring out all the pathos inherent in the subjec- 
tion of two gentle women to a tyrant in their own household. But 
it is Balzac the inimitable alone who can portray fully the life of 
the provinces, its banality, its meanness, its watchful selfishness, and 
yet save us through the perfection of his art from the degradation 
which results from contact with low and sordid life. The reader who 
rises unaffected from a perusal of * Eugenie Grandet * would be 
unmoved by the grief of Priam in the tent of Achilles, or of Othello 
in the death-chamber of Desdemona. 

* Le Lys dans la vallee ' has been pronounced by an able French 
critic to be the worst novel he knows; but as a study of more or 
less .ethereal and slightly morbid love it is characterized by remark- 
able power. Its heroine, Madame Mortsauf, tied to a nearly insane 
husband and pursued by a sentimental lover, undergoes tortures of 
conscience through an agonizing sense of half-failure in her duty. 
Balzac himself used to cite her when he was charged with not being 
able to draw a pure woman; but he has created nobler types. The 
other stories of the group are also decidedly more interesting. The 
distress of the abbe Birotteau over his landlady's treatment, and 
the intrigues of the abbe Troubert ( * Le Cure de Tours * ) absorb us 
as completely as the career of Caesar himself in Mommsen's famous 
chapter. The woes of the little orphan subjected to the tyranny of 
her selfish aunt and uncle ( * Pierrette * ), the struggles of the rapa- 
cious heirs for the Mirouet fortune ( * Ursule Mirouet, * a story which 
gives us one of Balzac's purest women, treats interestingly of mes- 
merism (and may be read without fear by the young), the siege of 
Mile. Cormon's mature affections by her two adroit suitors ( * Une 
Vielle fille'), the intrigues against the peace of the d'Esgrignons 
and the sublime devotion to their interests of the notary Chesnel 
(<Le Cabinet des antiques'), and finally the ignoble passions that 
fought themselves out around the senile Jean Jacques Rouget, undef 
the direction of the diabolical ex-soldier Philippe Brideau ( * La 
Rabouilleuse,* sometimes entitled * Un Menage de Garcon'), form 
the absorbing central themes of a group of novels — or rather stories, 
for few of them attain considerable length — unrivaled in the annals 
of realistic fiction. 

The 'Scenes of Country Life,' comprising < Les Paysans,' < Le 
Medecin de campagne,' and * Le Cure de village' (The Village 
Priest), take high rank among their author's works. Where Balzac 
might have been crudely naturalistic, he has preferred to be either 
realistic as in the first named admirable novel, or idealistic as in the 
two latter. Hence he has created characters like the country physi- 
cian. Doctor Benassis, almost as great a boon to the world of readers 
as that philanthropist himself was to the little village of his adoption. 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1359 



If Madame Graslin of <Le Cure de village* fails to reach the height 
of Benassis, her career has at least a sensational interest which his 
lacked; and the country curate, the good abbe Bonnet, surely makes 
up for her lack on the ideal side. This story, by the way, is import- 
ant for the light it throws on the workings of the Roman Church 
among the common people; and the description of Madame Graslin's 
death is one of Balzac's most effective pieces of writing. 

We are now brought to the 'Parisian Scenes,* and with the excep- 
tion of * Eugenie Grandet,* to the best-known masterpieces. There 
are twenty titles; but as two of these are collective in character, the 
number of novels and stories amounts to twenty-four, as follows: — 
*Le Pere Goriot,' 'Illusions perdues, * ' Splendeurs et miseres des 
courtisanes,' *Les Secrets de la princesse de Cadignan* (The Secrets 
of the Princess of Cadignan), < Histoire des treize ' [containing < Fer- 
ragus, ' * La Duchesse de Langeais, ' and * La Fille aux yeux d'or * (The 
Girl with the Golden Eyes)], <Sarrasine,' <Le Colonel Chabert,* < L'ln- 
terdiction' (The Interdiction), ' Les Parents pauvres' (Poor Relations, 
including *La Cousine Bette' and <Le Cousin Pons'), <La Messe de 
I'athee' (The Atheist's Mass), *Facino Cane,' *Gobseck,* *La Maison 
Nucingen, ' * Un Prince de la Boheme ' (A Prince of Bohemia), * Es- 
quisse d'homme d'affaires * (Sketch of a Business man), * Gaudissart 
II.,' *Les Comediens sans le savoir' (The Unconscious Humorists), 
< Les Employes' (The Employees), < Histoire de Cesar Birotteau,' and 

* Les Petits bourgeois' (Little Bourgeois). Of these twenty-four titles 
six belong to novels, five of which are of great power, nine to novel- 
ettes and short stories too admirable to be passed over without notice, 
eight to novelettes and stories of interest and value which need not, 
however, detain us, and one, * Les Petits bourgeois,' to a novel of 
much promise unfortunately left incomplete. * Les Secrets de la 
princesse de Cadignan ' is remarkable chiefly as a study of the blind 
passion that often overtakes a man of letters. Daniel d'Arthez, the 
aijithor, a fine character and a favorite with Balzac, succumbs to the 
wiles of the Princess of Cadignan (formerly the dashing and fascinat- 
ing Duchesse de Maufrigneuse) and is happy in his subjection. The 

* Histoire des treize ' contains three novelettes, linked together through 
the fact that in each a band of thirteen young men, sworn to assist 
one another in conquering society, play an important part. This vol- 
ume is the most frankly sensational of Balzac's works. * La Duchesse 
de Langeais,' however, is more than sensational: it gives perhaps 
Balzac's best description of the Faubourg St. Germain and one of 
his ablest analyses of feminine character, while in the description 
of General Montriveau's recognition of the Duchess in the Spanish 
convent the novelist's dramatic power is seen at its highest. < La 
Fille aux yeux d'or,' which concludes the volume devoted to the 



1360 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



mysterious brotherhood, may be considered, with <Sarrasine,' one of 
the dark closets of the great building known as the * Comedie hu- 
maine.* Both stories deal with unnatural passions, and the first is one 
of Balzac's most effective compositions. For sheer voluptuousness of 
style there is little in literature to parallel the description of the 
boudoir of the uncanny heroine. Very different from these stories 
is * Le Colonel Chabert, * the record of the misfortunes of one of 
Napoleon's heroic soldiers, who after untold hardships returns to 
France to find his wife married a second time and determined to 
deny his existence. The law is invoked, but the treachery of the 
wife induces the noble old man to put an end to the proceedings, 
after which he sinks into an indigent and pathetic senility. Balzac 
has never drawn a more heart-moving figure, nor has he ever 
sounded more thoroughly the depths of human selfishness. But the 
description of the battle of Eylau and of Chabert's sufferings in 
retreat would alone suffice to make the story memorable. * L'lnter- 
diction* is the proper pendant to the history of this unfortunate sol- 
dier. In it another husband, the Marquis d'Espard, suffers from the 
selfishness of his wife, one of the worst characters in the range of 
Balzac's fiction. That she may keep him from alienating his property 
to discharge a moral obligation she endeavors to prove him insane. 
The legal complications which ensue bring forward one of Balzac's 
great figures, the judge of instruction, Popinot; but to appreciate him 
the reader must go to the marvelous book itself. * Gobseck * is a 
study of a Parisian usurer, almost worthy of a place beside the 
description of old Grandet ; while * Les Employes * is a realistic study 
of bureaucratic life, which, besides showing a wonderful familiarity 
with the details of a world of which Balzac had little personal expe- 
rience, contains several admirably drawn characters and a sufficient 
amount of incident. But it is time to leave these sketches and 
novels in miniature, and to pass by the less important * Scenes * of 
this fascinating Parisian life, in order to consider in some detail the 
five novels of consummate power. 

First of these in date of composition, and in popular estimation at 
least among English readers, comes, * Le Pere Goriot. > It is certainly 
trite to call the book a French " Lear, " but the expression empha- 
sizes the supreme artistic power that could treat the motif of one of 
Shakespeare's plays in a manner that never forces a disadvantageous 
comparison with the great tragedy. The retired vermicelli-maker is 
not as grand a figure as the doting King of Britain, but he is as real. 
The French daughters, Anastasie, Countess de Restaud, and Delphine, 
Baroness de Nucingen, are not such types of savage wickedness as 
Regan and Goneril, but they fit the nineteenth century as well as 
the British princesses did their more barbarous day. Yet there is no 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1361 



Cordelia in <Le Piire Goriot,* for the pale Victorine Taillcfer cannot 
fill the place of that noblest of daughters. This is but to say that 
Balzac's bourgeois tragedy lacks that element of the noble that every 
great poetic tragedy must have. The self-immolation of old Gorlot 
to the cold-hearted ambitions of his daughters is not noble, but his 
parental passion touches the infinite, and so proves the essential kin- 
ship of his creator with the creator of Lear. This touch of the 
infinite, as in < Eugenie Grandet,' lifts the book up from the level of 
a merely masterly study of characters or a merely powerful novel to 
that of the supreme masterpieces of human genius. The marvelously 
lifelike description of the vulgar Parisian boarding-house, the fasci- 
nating delineation of the character of that king of convicts, Vautrin. 
and the fine analysis of the ambitions of Rastignac (who comes 
nearer perhaps to being the hero of the * Comedie humaine ' than any 
other of its characters, and is here presented to us at the threshold 
of his successful career) remain in the memory of every reader, but 
would never alone have sufficed to make Balzac's name worthy of 
immortality. The infinite quality of Goriot's passion would, how- 
ever, have conferred this honor on his creator had he never written 
another book. 

'Illusions perdues' and ' Splendeurs et miseres des courtisanes* 
might almost be regarded as one novel in seven parts. More than 
any other of his works they show the sun of Balzac's genius at its 
meridian. Nowhere else does he give us plots so absorbing, nowhere 
else does he bring us so completely in contact with the world his 
imagination has peopled. The first novel devotes two of its parts to 
the provinces and one to Paris. The provincial stories centre around 
two brothers-in-law, David Sechard and Lucien de Rubempre, types 
of the practical and the artistic intellect respectively. David, after 
struggling for fame and fortune, succumbs and finds his recompense 
in the love of his wife Eve, Lucien's sister, one of Balzac's noble 
women. Lucien, on the other hand, after some provincial successes 
as a poet, tries the great world of Paris, yields to its temptations, 
fails ignominiously, and attempts suicide, but is rescued by the great 
Vautrin, who has escaped from prison and is about to renew his war 
on society disguised as a Spanish priest. Vautrin has conceived the 
idea that as he can take no part in society, he will have a repre- 
sentative in it and taste its pleasures through him. Lucien accepts 
this disgraceful position and plunges once more into the vortex, sup- 
ported by the strong arm of the king of the convicts. His career 
and that of his patron form the subject of the four parts of the 
< Splendeurs et miseres,' and are too complicated to be described" 
here. Suffice it to say that probably nowhere else in fiction are the 
novel of character and the novel of incident so splendidly combined; 
III— 86 



1362 HONORfi DE BALZAC , 

and certainly nowhere else in the range of his work does Balzac so 
fully display all his master qualities. That the story is sensational 
cannot be denied, but it is at least worthy of being called the Iliad 
of Crime. Nemesis waits upon both Lucien and Vautrin, and upon 
the poor courtesan Esther whom they entrap in their toils, and 
when the two former are at last in custody, Lucien commits suicide. 
Vautrin baffles his acute judge in a wonderful interview; but with 
his cherished hope cut short by Lucien's death, finally gives up the 
struggle. Here »the novel might have ended ; yet Balzac adds a 
fourth part, in order to complete the career of Vautrin. The famous 
convict is transformed into a government spy, and engages to use 
his immense power against his former comrades and in defense of 
the society he has hitherto warred upon. The artistic propriety of 
this transformation may be questioned, but not the power and inter- 
est of the novel of which it is the finishing touch. 

Many readers would put the companion novels < La Cousine Bette * 
and *Le Cousin Pons* at the head of Balzac's works. They have not 
the infinite pathos of * Le Pere Goriot, ' or the superb construction of 
the first three parts of the * Splendeurs et miseres, * but for sheer 
strength the former at least is unsurpassed in fiction. Never before 
or since have the effects of vice in di'agging down a man below the 
level of the lowest brute been so portrayed as in Baron Hulot ; never 
before or since has female depravity been so illustrated as in the 
diabolical career of Valerie Marneffe, probably the worst woman in 
fiction. As for Cousine Bette herself, and her power to breed mis- 
chief and crime, it suffices to say that she is worthy of a place 
beside the two chief characters. 

* Le Cousin Pons* is a very different book; one which, though 
pathetic in the extreme, may be safely recommended to the youngest 
reader. The hero who gives his name to the story is an old musician 
who has worn out his welcome among his relations, but who becomes 
an object of interest to them when they learn that his collection of 
bric-a-brac is valuable and that he is about to die. The intrigues 
that circulate around this collection and the childlike German, 
Schmucke, to whom Pons has bequeathed it, are described as only 
the author of < Le Cure de Tours* coiald have succeeded in doing; 
but the book contains also an almost perfect description of the ideal 
friendship existing between Pons and Schmucke. One remembers 
them longer than one does Frazier, the scoundrelly advocate who 
cheats poor Schmucke; a fact which should be cited against those 
who urge that Balzac is at home with his vicious characters only. 

The last novel of this group, < Cesar Birotteau,* is the least power- 
ful, though not perhaps the least popular. It is an excellent study 
of bourgeois life, and therefore fills an important place in the scheme 



HONORfi DE BALZAC 



1363 



of the 'Comedy,* describing as it does the spreading ambitions of 
a rich but stupid perfumer, and containing an admirable study of 
bankruptcy. It may be dismissed with the remark that around the 
innocent Caesar surge most of the scoundrels that figure in the 
*Comedie humaine,* and with the regret that it should have been 
completed while the far more powerful < Les Petits bourgeois > was 
left unfinished. 

We now come to the concluding parts of the * Etudes de moeurs,' 
the * Scenes * describing Political and Military Life. In the first group 
are five novels and stories : * L'Envers de I'histoire contemporaine > 
(The Under Side of Contemporary History, a fine story, but rather 
social than political), * Une Tenebreuse affaire* (A Shady Affair), 
<Un Episode sous la Terreur,' * Z. Marcas,' and < Le Depute d'Arcis * 
(The Deputy of Arcis). Of these the * Episode > is probably the most 
admirable, although < Z. Marcas ' has not a little strength. The 

< Depute,' like <Les Petits bourgeois,' was continued by M. Charles 
Rabou and a considerable part of it is not Balzac's; a fact which is 
to be regretted, since practically it is the only one of these stories 
that touches actual politics as the term is usually understood. The 
military scenes are only two in number, * Les Chouans * and * Une 
Passion dans le desert.' The former of these has been sufficiently 
described already; the latter is one of the best known of the short 
stories, but rather deserves a place beside * La Fille aux yeux d'or.' 
Indeed, for Balzac's best military scenes we must go to * Le Colonel 
Chabert' or to 'Adieu.' 

We now pass to those subterranean chambers of the great struct- 
ure we are exploring, the * Etudes philosophiques. ' They are twenty 
in number, four being novels, one a composite volume of tales, and 
the rest stories. The titles run as follows: — 'La Peau de chagrin,' 
' L'Elixir de longfue vie' (The Elixir of Life), 'Melmoth reconcilie,' 

< Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu' (The Anonymous Masterpiece), < Gam- 
bara,' 'Massimila Doni,' 'Le Requisitionnaire,' 'Adieu,' 'El Verdugo,' 
'Les Marana,' ' L'Auberge rouge' (The Red Inn), 'Un Drame au 
bord de la mer ' (A Seaside Drama), ' L'Enfant maudit ' (A Child 
Accursed), ' Maitre Cornelius' (Master Cornelius), ' Sur Catherine de 
Medicis, ' 'La Recherche de I'absolu,' 'Louis Lambert,' 'Seraphita,' 
'Les Proscrits,' and 'Jesus-Christ en Flandre.' 

Of the novels, ' La Peau de chagrin > is easily first. Its central 
theme is the world-old conflict between the infinite desires and the 
finite powers of man. The hero, Raphael, is hardly, as M. Barriere 
asserts, on a level with Hamlet, Faust, and Manfred, but the struggle 
of his infinite and his finite natures is almost as intensel}' iriteresting 
as the similar struggles in them. The introduction of the talisman, 
the wild ass's skin that accomplishee all the wishes of its owner, but 



1364 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



on condition that it is to shrink away in proportion to the intensity 
of those wishes, and that when it disappears the owner's life is to 
end, gave to the story a weird interest not altogether, perhaps, in 
keeping with its realistic setting, and certainly forcing a disastrous 
comparison with the three great poems named. But when all allow- 
ances are made, one is forced to conclude that < La Peau de chagrin * 
is a novel of extraordinary power and absorbing interest ; and that 
its description of its hero's dissipations in the libertine circles of 
Paris, and its portrayal of the sublime devotion of the heroine Pauline 
for her slowly perishing lover, are scarcely to be paralleled in liter- 
ature. Far less powerful are the short stories on similar themes, 
entitled * L'Elixir de longue vie,' and <Melmoth reconcilie* (Melmoth 
Reconciled), which give us Balzac's rehandling of the Don Juan of 
Moliere and Byron, and the Melmoth of Maturin. 

Below the *Peau de chagrin,* but still among its author's best 
novels, should be placed * La Recherche de I'absolu,' which, as its 
title implies, describes the efforts of a chemist to ** prove by chem- 
ical analysis the unity of composition of matter." In the pursuit of 
his philosophic will-o'-the-wisp, Balthazar Claes loses his fortune and 
sacrifices his noble wife and children. His madness serves, however, 
to bring into relief the splendid qualities of these latter; and it is 
just here, in its human rather than in its philosophic bearings, that 
the story rises to real greatness. Marguerite Claes, the daughter, is 
a noble heroine ; and if one wishes to see how Balzac's characters 
and ideas suffer when treated by another though an able hand, one 
has but to read in conjunction with this novel the * Maitre Guerin * 
of the distinguished dramatist Emile Augier. A proper pendant to 
this history of a noble genius perverted is < La Confidence des Rug- 
gieri, > the second part of that remarkable composite < Sur Catherine 
de Medicis,' a book which in spite of its mixture of history, fiction, 
and speculative politics is one of the most suggestive of Balzac's 
minor productions. 

Concerning *Seraphita* and < Louis Lambert,* the remaining novels 
of this series, certain noted mystics assert that they contain the 
essence of Balzac's genius, and at least suggest the secret of the 
universe. Perhaps an ordinary critic may content himself with say- 
ing that both books are remarkable proofs of their author's power, 
and that the former is notable for its marvelous descriptions of Nor- 
wegian scenery. 

Of the lesser members of the philosophic group, nearly all are 
admirable in their kind and degree. *Le Chef-d'oeuvre inconnu' and 
* Gambara * treat of the pains of the artistic life and temperament. 
'Massimila Doni,> like 'Gambara,' treats of music, but also gives a 
brilliant picture of Venetian life. *Le requisitionnaire,' perhaps the 



HONORE DE BALZAC 1365 

best of Balzac's short stories, deals with the phenomenon of second 
sight, as 'Adieu* does with that of mental alienation caused by a 
sudden shock. * Les Marana * is an absorbing study of the effects of 
heredity ; * L'Auberge rouge ' is an analysis of remorse, as is also 

< Un Drame au bord de la met > ; while < L'Enfant maudit * is an 
analysis of the effects of extreme sensibility, especially as manifested 
in the passion of poetic love. Finally, * Maitre Cornelius * is a study 
of avarice, in which is set a remarkable portrait of Louis XI. ; * Les 
Proscrits' is a masterly sketch of the exile of Dante at Paris; and 

* Jesus-Christ en Flandre' is an exquisite allegory, the most delicate 
flower, perhaps, of Balzac's genius. 

It remains only to say a few words about the third division of the 

* Comedie humaine,* viz., the * Etudes analytiques.* Only two mem- 
bers of the series, the * Physiologic du mariage ' and the * Petites 
miseres de la vie conjugale,* were ever completed, and they are not 
great enough to make us regret the loss of the < Pathology of Social 
Life ' and the other unwritten volumes. For the two books we have 
are neither novels nor profound studies, neither great fiction nor great 
psychology. That they are worth reading for their suggestiveness 
with regard to such important subjects as marriage and conjugal life 
goes without saying, since they are Balzac's; but that they add 
greatly to his reputation, not even his most ardent admirer would be 
hardy enough to affirm. 

And now in conclusion, what can one say about this great writer 
that will not fall far short of his deserts ? Plainly, nothing, yet a few 
points may be accentuated with profit. We should notice in the first 
place that Balzac has consciously tried almost every form of prose 
fiction, and has been nearly always splendidly successful. In analytic 
studies of high, middle, and low life he has not his superior. In the 
novel of intrigue and sensation he is easily a master, while he suc- 
ceeds at least fairly in a form of fiction at just the opposite pole 
from this, to wit, the idyl (* Le Lys dans la vallee >). In character 
sketches of extreme types, like *Gobseck,> his supremacy has long 
been recognized, and he is almost as powerful when he enters the 
world of mysticism, whither so few of us can follow him. As a 
writer of novelettes he is unrivaled and some of his short stories are 
worthy to rank with the best that his followers have produced. In 
the extensive use of dialect he was a pioneer; in romance he has 

< La Peau de chagrin* and *La Recherche de I'absolu* to his credit; 
while some of the work in the tales connected with the name of 
Catherine de' Medici shows what he could have done in historical fic- 
tion had he continued to follow Scott. And what is true of the form 
of his fiction is true of its elements. Tragedy, comedy, melodrama 



1366 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



are all within his reach ; he can call up tears and shudders, laughter 
and smiles at will. He knows the whole range of human emotions, 
and he dares to penetrate into the arcana of passions almost too 
terrible or loathsome for literature to touch. 

In style, in the larger sense of the word, he is almost equally- 
supreme. He is the father of modern realism and remains its great- 
est exponent. He retains always some of the good elements of 
romance, — that is to say, he sees the thing as it ought to be, — and 
he avoids the pitfalls of naturalism, being a painter and not a photog- 
rapher. In other words, like all truly great writers he never forgets 
his ideals; but he is too impartial to his characters and has too fast 
a grip on life to fall into the unrealities of sentimentalism. It is 
true that he lacked the spontaneity that characterized his great fore- 
runner, Shakespeare, and his great contemporary, George Sand; but 
this loss was made up by the inevitable and impersonal character of 
his work when once his genius was thoroughly aroused to action. 
His laborious method of describing by an accumulation of details 
postponed the play of his powers, which are at their height in the 
action of his characters; yet sooner or later the inert masses of his 
composition were fused into a burning whole. But if Balzac is pri- 
marily a dramatist in the creation and manipulation of his charac- 
ters, he is also a supreme painter in his presentation of scenes. 
And what characters and what scenes has he not set before us! 
Over two thousand personages move through the * Comedie humaine,* 
whose biographies MM. Cerfberr and Christophe have collected for 
us in their admirable * Repertoire de la comedie humaine,* and 
whose chief types M. Paul Flat has described in the first series of 
his * Essais sur Balzac. ' Some of these personages are of course 
shadowy; but an amazingly large number live for us as truly as 
Shakespeare's heroes and heroines do. Nor will any one who has 
trod the streets of Balzac's Paris, or spent the summer with him at 
the chateau des Aigues (* Les Paysans *), or in the beautiful valleys 
of Touraine, ever forget the master's pictures. 

Yet the Balzac who with intangible materials created living and 
breathing men and women and unfading scenes, has been accused 
of vitiating the French language and has been denied the possession 
of verbal style. On this point French critics must give the final 
verdict; but a foreigner may cite Taine's defense of that style, and 
maintain that most of the liberties taken by Balzac with his native 
language were forced on him by the novel and far-reaching character 
of his work. Nor shoiild it be forgotten that he was capable at times 
of almost perfect passages of description, and that he rarely con- 
founded, as novelists are too apt to do, the provinces of poetry and 
prose. 



HONORE DE BALZAC 1367 

But one might \vTite a hundred essays on Balzac and not exhaust 
him. One might write a volume on his women, a volume to refute 
the charge that his bad men are better drawn than his good, a 
volume to discuss Mr. Henrj' James's epigrammatic declaration that 
a five-franc piece may be fairly called the protagonist of the 
'Comedie humaine.* In short one might go on defending and prais- 
ing and even criticizing Balzac for a lifetime, and be little further 
advanced than when one began; for to criticize Balzac, is it not to 
criticize life itself? 

^c/rr^ ^--^ — ^- 



THE MEETING IN THE CONVENT 

From <The Duchess of Langeais> 

I 

IN A Spanish town on an island of the Mediterranean there is a 
convent of the Barefooted Carmelites, where the rule of the 

Order instituted by Saint Theresa is still kept with the prim- 
itive rigor of the reformation brought about by that illustrious 
woman. Extraordinary as this fact may seem, it is true. Though 
the monasteries of the Peninsula and those of the Continent were 
nearly all destroyed or broken up by the outburst of the French 
Revolution and the turmoil of the Napoleonic wars, yet on this 
island, protected by the British fleets, the wealthy convent and 
its peaceful inmates were sheltered from the dangers of change 
and general spoliation. The storms from all quarters w^hich 
shook the first fifteen years of the nineteenth century subsided 
ere they reached this lonely rock near the coast of Andalusia. 
If the name of the great Emperor echoed fitfully upon its shores, 
it may be doubted whether the fantastic march of his glory or 
the flaming majesty of his meteoric life ever reached the compre- 
hension of those saintly women kneeling in their distant cloister. 

A conventual rigor, which w^as never relaxed, gave to this 
haven a special place in the thoughts and history of the Catholic 
world. The purity of its rule drew to its shelter from different 
parts of Europe sad w^omen, whose souls, deprived of human 
ties, longed for the death in life which they found here in the 
bosom of God. No other convent was so fitted to wean the 
heart and teach it that aloofness from the things of this world 



1363 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



which the religious Hfe imperatively demands. On the Continent 
may be found a number of such Houses, nobly planned to meet 
the wants of their sacred purpose. Some are buried in the 
depths of solitary valleys; others hang, as it were, in mid-air 
above the hills, clinging to the mountain slopes or projecting 
from the verge of precipices. On all sides man has sought out 
the poesy of the infinite, the solemnity of silence: he has sought 
God; and on the mountain-tops, in the abysmal depths, among 
the caverned cliffs he has found Him. Yet nowhere as on this 
European islet, half African though it be, can he find such differ- 
ing harmonies all blending to lift the soul and quell its springs 
of anguish; to cool its fevers, and give to the sorrows of life a 
bed of rest. 

The monastery is built at the extremity of the island at its 
highest part, where the rock by some convulsion of Nature has 
been rent sharply down to the sea, and presents at all points 
keen angles and edges, slightly eaten away at the water-line by 
the action of the waves, but insurmountable to all approach. 
The rock is also protected from assault by dangerous reefs run- 
ning far out from its base, over which frolic the blue waters of 
the Mediterranean. It is only from the sea that the visitor can 
perceive the four principal parts of the square structure, which 
adheres minutely as to shape, height, and the piercing of its 
windows to the prescribed laws of monastic architecture. On 
the side towards the town the church hides the massive lines of 
the cloister, whose roof is covered with large tiles to protect it 
from winds and storms, and also from the fierce heat of the sun. 
The church, the gift of a Spanish family, looks down upon the 
town and crowns it. Its bold yet elegant fagade gives a noble 
aspect to the little maritime city. Is it not a picture of terres- 
trial sublimity ? See the tiny town with clustering roofs, rising 
like an amphitheatre from the picturesque port upward to the 
noble Gothic frontal of the church, from which spring the slen- 
der shafts of the bell-towers with their pointed finials: religion 
dominating life: offering to man the end and the way of liv- 
ing, — image of a thoi^ght altogether Spanish. Place this scene 
upon the bosom of the Mediterranean beneath an ardent sky; 
plant it with palms whose waving fronds mingle their green life 
with the sculptured leafage of the immutable architecture; look 
at the white fringes of the sea as it nins tip the reef and they 
sparkle upon the sapphire of its wave; see the galleries and the 



HONORE DE BALZAC 1369 

terraces built upon the roofs of houses, where the inhabitants 
come at eve to breathe the flower-scented air as it rises through 
the tree-tops from their little gardens. Below, in the harbor, 
are the white sails. The serenity of night is coming on; listen 
to the notes of the organ, the chant of evening orisons, the 
echoing bells of the ships at sea: on all sides sound and peace, — 
oftenest peace. 

Within the church are three naves, dark and mysterious. The 
fury of the winds evidently forbade the architect to build out lat- 
eral buttresses, such as adorn all other cathedrals, and between 
which little chapels are usually constructed. Thus the strong 
walls which flank the lesser naves shed no light into the building. 
Outside, their gray masses are shored up from point to point by 
enormous beams. The great nave and its two small lateral gal- 
leries are lighted solely by the rose-window of stained glass, 
which pierces with miraculous art the wall above the great por- 
tal, whose fortunate exposure permits a wealth of tracery and 
dentellated stone-work belonging to that order of architecture 
miscalled Gothic. 

The greater part of the three naves is given up to the inhabi- 
tants of the town who come to hear Mass and the Offices of the 
Church. In front of the choir is a latticed screen, within which 
brown curtains hang in ample folds, slightly parted in the middle 
to give a limited view of the altar and the officiating priest. The 
screen is divided at intervals by pillars that hold up a gallery 
within the choir which contains the organ. This construction, in 
harmony with the rest of the building, continues, in sculptured 
wood, the little columns of the lateral galleries which are sup- 
ported by the pillars of the great nave. Thus it is impossible 
for the boldest curiositj^ if any such should dare to mount the 
narrow balustrade of these galleries, to see farther into the choir 
than the octagonal stained windows which pierce the apse behind 
the high altar. 

At the time of the French expedition into Spain for the pur- 
pose of re-establishing the authority of Ferdinand VII., and 
after the fall of Cadiz, a French general who was sent to the 
island to obtain its recognition of the royal government pro- 
longed his stay upon it that he might reconnoitre the convent and 
gain, if possible, admittance there. The enterprise was a delicate 
one. But a man of passion, — a man whose life had been, so to 
speak, a series of poems in action, who had lived romances 



13 70 HONORfi DE BALZAC 

instead of writing them; above all a man of deeds, — might well 
be tempted by a project apparently so impossible. To open for 
himself legally the gates of a convent of women! The Pope and 
the Metropolitan Archbishop would scarcely sanction it. Should 
he use force or artifice ? In case of failure was he not certain 
to lose his station and his military future, besides missing his 
aim? The Due d'Angouleme was still in Spain; and of all the 
indiscretions which an officer in favor with the commander-in- 
chief could commit, this alone would be punished without pity. 
The general had solicited his present mission for the purpose of 
following up a secret hope, albeit no hope was ever so despair- 
ing. This last effort, however, was a matter of conscience. The 
house of these Barefooted Carmelites was the only Spanish con- 
vent which had escaped his search. While crossing from the 
mainland, a voyage which took less than an hour, a strong pre- 
sentiment of success had seized his heart. Since then, although 
he had seen nothing of the convent but its walls, nothing of the 
nuns,* not so much as their brown habit; though he had heard 
only the echoes of their chanted liturgies, — he had gathered from 
those walls and from these chants faint indications that seemed 
to justify his fragile hope. Slight as the auguries thus capri- 
ciously awakened might be, no human passion was ever more 
violently roused than the curiosity of this French general. To 
the heart there are no insignificant events; it magnifies all 
things; it puts in the same balance the fall of an empire and the 
fall of a woman's glove, — and oftentimes the glove outweighs 
the empire. But let us give the facts in their actual simplicity: 
after the facts will come the feelings. 

An hour, after the expedition had landed on the island the 
royal authority was re-established. A few Spaniards who had 
taken refuge there after the fall of Cadiz embarked on a vessel 
which the general allowed them to charter for their voyage to 
London. There was thus neither resistance nor reaction. This 
little insular restoration could not, however, be accomplished with- 
out a Mass, at which both companies of the troops were ordered 
to be present. Not knowing the rigor of the Carmelite rule, the 
general hoped to gain in the church some information about the 
nuns who were immured in the convent, one of whom might be 
a being dearer to him than life, more precious even than honor. 
His hopes were at first cruelly disappointed. Mass was cele- 
brated with the utmost pomp. In honor of this solemn occasion 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1371 



the curtains which habitually hid the choir were drawn aside, 
and gave to view the rich ornaments, the priceless pictures, 
and the shrines incrusted with jewels whose brilliancy surpassed 
that of the votive offerings fastened by the mariners of the 
port to the pillars of the great nave. The nuns, however, had 
retired to the seclusion of the organ gallery. 

Yet in spite of this check, and while the Mass of thanksgiv- 
ing was being sung, suddenly and secretly the drama widened 
into an interest as profound as any that ever moved the heart of 
man. The Sister who played the organ roused an enthusiasm so 
vivid that not one soldier present regretted the order which had 
brought him to the church. The men listened to the music with 
pleasure; the officers were carried away by it. As for the gen- 
eral, he remained to all appearance calm and cold: the feelings 
with which he heard the notes given forth by the nun are 
among the small number of earthly things whose expression is 
withheld from impotent human speech, but which — like death, 
like God, like eternity — can be perceived only at their slender 
point of contact with the heart of man. By a strange chance the 
music of the organ seemed to be that of Rossini, — a composer 
who more than any other has carried human passion into the art 
of music, and whose works by their number and extent will some 
day inspire an Homeric respect. From among the scores of this 
fine genius the nun seemed to have chiefly studied that of Moses 
in Egypt; doubtless because the feelings of sacred music are there 
carried to the highest pitch. Perhaps these two souls — one so 
gloriously European, the other unknown — had met together in 
some intuitive perception of the same poetic thought. This idea 
occurred to two officers now present, true dilettaiiti, who no 
doubt keenly regretted the Theatre Favart in their Spanish exile. 
At last, at the Te Deum, it Avas impossible not to recognize a 
French soul in the character which the music suddenly took on. 
The triumph of his Most Christian Majesty evidently roused to 
joy the heart of that cloistered nun. Surely she was a French- 
woman. Presently the patriotic spirit burst forth, sparkling like 
a jet of light through the antiphonals of the organ, as the Sister 
recalled melodies breathing the delicacy of Parisian taste, and 
blended them with vague memories of our national anthems. 
Spanish hands could not have put into this graceful homage 
paid to victorious arms the fire that thus betrayed the origin of 
the musician. 



1372 HONORE DE BALZAC 

" France is everywhere ! " said a soldier. 

The general left the church during the Te Deum; it was 
impossible for him to listen to it. The notes of the musician 
revealed to him a woman loved to madness; who had buried 
herself so deeply in the heart of religion, hid herself so care- 
fully away from the sight of the world, that up to this time she 
had escaped the keen search of men armed not only with 
immense power, but with great sagacity and intelligence. Tlic 
hopes which had wakened in the general's heart seemed justi- 
fied as he listened to the vague echo of a tender and melancholy 
air, *La Fleuve du Tage,* — a ballad whose prelude he had 
'often heard in Paris in the boudoir of the woman he loved, and 
which this nun now used to express, amid the joys of the con- 
querors, the suffering of an exiled heart. Terrible moment ! to 
long for the resurrection of a lost love; to find that love — still 
lost; to meet it mysteriously after five years in which passion, 
exasperated by the void, had been intensified by the useless 
efforts made to satisfy it. 

Who is there that has not, once at least in his life, upturned 
everything about him, his papers and his receptacles, taxing his 
memory impatiently as he seeks some precious lost object ; and 
then felt the ineffable pleasure of finding it after days consumed 
in the search, after hoping and despairing of its recovery, — 
spending upon some trifle an excitement of mind almost amount- 
ing to a passion ? Well, stretch this fury of search through five 
long years; put a woman, a heart, a love in the place of the 
insignificant trifle; lift the passion into the highest realms of 
feeling; and then picture to yourself an ardent man, a man with 
the heart of lion and the front of Jove, one of those men who 
command, and communicate to those about them, respectful 
terror, — you will then imderstand the abrupt departure of the 
general during the Te Deum, at the moment when the prelude 
of an air, once heard in Paris with delight under gilded ceilings, 
vibrated through the dark naves of the church by the sea. 

He went down the hilly street which led up to the convent, 
without pausing until the sonorous echoes of the organ could no 
longer reach his ear. Unable to think of anything but of the 
love that like a volcanic eruption rent his heart, the French gen- 
eral only perceived that the Te Deum was ended when the 
Spanish contingent poured from the church. He felt that his 
conduct and appearance were open to ridicule, and he hastily 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



'373 



resumed his place at the head of the cavalcade, explaining to the 
alcalde and to the governor of the town that a sudden indisposi- 
tion had obliged him to come out into the air. Then it suddenly 
occurred to him to use the pretext thus hastily given, as a 
means of prolonging his stay on the island. Excusing himself 
on the score of increased illness, he declined to preside at the 
banquet given by the authorities of the island to the French 
officers, and took to his bed, after writing to the major-general 
that a passing illness compelled him to turn over his command 
to the colonel. This commonplace artifice, natural as it was, 
left him free from all duties and able to seek the fulfilment of 
his hopes. Like a man essentially Catholic and monarchical, he 
inquired the hours of the various services, and showed the 
utmost interest in the duties of religion, — a piety which in 
Spain excited no surprise. 



The following day, while the soldiers were embarking, the gen- 
eral went up to the convent to be present at vespers. He found 
the church deserted by the townspeople, who in spite of their 
natural devotion were attracted to the port by the embarkation 
of the troops. The Frenchman, glad to find himself alone in the 
church, took pains to make the clink of his spurs resound 
through the vaulted roof; he walked noisily, and coughed, and 
spoke aloud to himself, hoping to inform the nuns, but especially 
the Sister at the organ, that if the French soldiers were depart- 
ing, one at least remained behind. Was this singular method of 
communication heard and understood ? The general believed it 
was. In the Magnificat the organ seemed to give an answer 
which came to him in the vibrations of the air. The soul of the 
nun floated towards him on the wings of the notes she touched, 
quivering with the movements of the sound. The music burst 
forth with power; it glorified the church. This hymn of joy, 
consecrated by the sublime liturgy of Roman Christianity to the 
uplifting of the soul in presence of the splendors of the ever- 
living God, became the utterance of a heart terrified at its own 
happiness in presence of the splendors of a perishable love, 
which still lived, and came to move it once more beyond the 
tomb where this woman had buried herself, to rise again the 
bride of Christ. 



1374 HONORE DE BALZAC 

The organ is beyond all question the finest, the most daring, 
the most magnificent of the instruments created by human genius. 
It is an orchestra in itself, from which a practiced hand may 
demand all things; for it expresses all things. Is it not, as it 
were, a coign of vantage, where the soul may poise itself ere it 
springs into space, bearing, as it flies, the listening mind through 
a thousand scenes of life towards the infinite which parts earth 
from heaven ? The longer a poet listens to its gigantic har- 
monies, the more fully will he comprehend that between kneeling 
humanity and the God hidden by the dazzling rays of the Holy 
of Holies, the hundred voices of terrestrial choirs can alone bridge 
the vast distance and interpret to Heaven the prayers of men 
in all the omnipotence of their desires, in the diversities of their 
woe, with the tints of their meditations and their ecstasies, with 
the impetuous spring of their repentance, and the thousand 
imaginations of their manifold beliefs. Yes! beneath these soar- 
ing vaults the harmonies bom of the genius of sacred things 
find a yet unheard-of grandeur, which adorns and strengthens 
them. Here the dim light, the deep silence, the voices alternat- 
ing with the solemn tones of the organ, seem like a veil through 
which the luminous attributes of God himself pierce and radiate. 

Yet all these sacred riches now seem fltmg like a grain of 
incense on the frail altar of an earthly love, in presence of the 
eternal throne of a jealous and avenging Deity. The joy of the 
nun had not the gravity which properly belongs to the solemnity 
of the Magnificat. She gave to the music rich and graceful 
modulations, whose rhythms breathed of human gayety; her 
measures ran into the brilliant cadences of a great singer striv- 
ing to express her love, and the notes rose buoyantly like the 
carol of a bird by the side of its mate. At moments she darted 
back into the past, as if to sport there or to weep there for an 
instant. Her changing moods had something discomposed about 
them, like the agitations of a happy woman rejoicing at the 
return of her lover. Then, as these supple strains of passionate 
emotion ceased, the soul that spoke returned upon itself; the 
musician passed from the major to the minor key, and told her 
hearer the story of her present. She revealed to him her long 
melancholy, the slow malady of her moral being, — every day a 
feeling crushed, every night a thought subdued, hour by hour a 
heart burning down to ashes. After soft modulations the music 
took on slowly, tint by tint, the hue of deepest sadness. Soon 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1375 



it poured forth in echoing torrents the well-springs of grief, till 
suddenly the higher notes struck clear like the voice of angels, 
as if to tell to her lost love — lost, but not forgotten — that the 
reunion of their souls must be in heaven, and only there: hope 
most precious! Then came the Amen. In that no joy, no tears, 
nor sadness, nor regrets, but a return to God. The last chord 
that sounded was grave, solemn, terrible. The musician revealed 
the nun in the garb of her vocation; and as the thunder of the 
basses rolled away, causing the hearer to shudder through his 
whole being, she seemed to sink into the tomb from which for a 
brief moment she had risen. As the echoes slowly ceased to 
vibrate along the vaulted roofs, the church, made luminous by 
the music, fell suddenly into profound obscurity. 

The general, carried away by the course of this powerful 
genius, had followed her, step by step, along her way. He 
comprehended in their full meaning the pictures that gleamed 
through that burning symphony; for him those chords told all. 
For him, as for the Sister, this poem of sound was the future, 
the past, the present. Music, even the music of an opera, is it 
not to tender and poetic souls, to wounded and suffering hearts, 
a text which they interpret as their memories need ? If the 
heart of a poet must be given to a musician, must not poetry 
and love be listeners ere the great musical works of art are 
understood ? Religion, love, and music : are they not the triple 
expression of one fact, — the need of expansion, the need of 
touching with their own infinite the infinite beyond them, which 
is in the fibre of all noble souls ? These three forms of poesy 
end in God, who alone can unwind the knot of earthly emotion. 
Thus this holy human trinity joins itself to the holiness of God, 
of whom we make to ourselves no conception unless we surround 
him by the fires of love and the golden cymbals of music and 
light and harmony. 

The French general divined that on this desert rock, sur- 
rounded by the surging seas, the nun had cherished music to 
free her soul of the excess of passion that consumed it. Did she 
offer her love as a homage to God ? Did the love triumjoh over 
the vows she had made to Him ? Questions difficult to answer. 
But, beyond all doubt, the lover had found in a heart dead to the 
world a love as passionate as that which burned within his own. 

When vespers ended he returned to the house of the alcalde, 
where he was quartered. Giving himself over, a willing prey. 



1376 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



to the delights of a success long expected, laboriously sought, his 
mind at first cotild dwell on nothing else, — he was still loved. 
Solitude had nourished the love of that heart, just as his own 
had thriven on the barriers, successively surmounted, which this 
woman had placed between herself and him. This ecstasy of 
the spirit had its natural duration; then came the desire to see 
this woman, to withdraw her from God, to win her back to him- 
self, — a bold project, welcome to a bold man. After the evening 
repast, he retired to his room to escape questions and think in 
peace, and remained plunged in deep meditation throughout the 
night. He rose early and went to Mass. He placed himself 
close to the latticed screen, his brow touching the brown curtain. 
He longed to rend it away; but he was not alone, his host had 
accompanied him, and the least imprudence might compromise 
the future of his love and ruin his new-found hopes. The organ 
was played, but not by the same hand ; the musician of the last 
two days was absent from its key-board. All was chill and pale 
to the general. Was his mistress worn out by the emotions 
which had wellnigh broken down his own vigorous heart ? Had 
she so truly shared and comprehended his faithful and eager love 
that she now lay exhausted and dying in her cell ? At the 
moment when such thoughts as these rose in the general's mind, 
he heard beside him the voice beloved; he knew the clear ring 
of its tones. The voice, slightly changed by a tremor which 
gave it the timid grace and modesty of a young girl, detached 
itself from the volume of song, like the voice of a prima donna 
in the harmonies of her final notes. It gave to the ear an 
impression like the effect to the eye of a fillet of silver or gold 
threading a dark frieze. It was indeed she ! Still Parisian, she 
had not lost her gracious charm, though she had forsaken the 
coronet and adornments of the world for the frontlet and serge 
of a Carmelite. Having revealed her love the night before in 
the praises addressed to the Lord of all, she seemed' now to say 
to her lover: — "Yes, it is I: I am here. I love forever; yet I 
am aloof from love. Thou shalt hear me; my soul shall enfold 
thee; but I must stay beneath the brown shroud of this choir, 
from which no power can tear me. Thou canst not see me. " 

" It is she ! " whispered the general to himself, as he raised 
his head and withdrew his hands from his face; for he had not 
been able to bear erect the storm of feeling that shook his heart 
as the voice vibrated through the arches and blended with the 



HONORE DE BALZAC I^y^ 

murmur of the waves. A storm raged without, yet peace was 
within the sanctuary. The rich voice still caressed the ear, and 
fell like balm upon the parched heart of the lover; it flowered 
in the air about him, from which he breathed the emanations 
of her spirit exhaling her love through the aspirations of its 
prayer. 

The alcalde came to rejoin his guest, and found him bathed 
in tears at the elevation of the Host which was chanted by the 
nun. Surprised to find such devotion in a French officer, he 
invited the confessor of the convent to join them at supper, and 
informed the general, to whom no news had ever given such 
pleasure, of what he had done. During the supper the general 
made the confessor the object of much attention, and thus con- 
firmed the Spaniards in the high opinion they had formed of his 
piety. He inquired with grave interest the number of the nuns, 
and asked details about the revenues of the convent and its 
wealth, with the air of a man who politely wished to choose 
topics which occupied the mind of the good old priest. Then he 
inquired about the life led by the sisters. Could they go out ? 
Could they see friends ? 

"Senhor, " said the venorable priest, "the rule is severe. If 
the permission of our Holy Father must be obtained before a 
woman can enter a house of Saint Bruno [the Chartreux] the 
like rule exists here. It is impossible for any man to enter a 
convent of the Bare-footed Carmelites, unless he is a priest 
delegated by the archbishop for duty in the House. No mm can 
go out. It is true, however, that the Great Saint, Mother 
Theresa, did frequently leave her cell. A Mother-superior can 
alone, under authority of the archbishop, permit a nun to see 
her friends, especially in case of illness. As this convent is one 
of the chief Houses of the Order, it has a Mother-superior 
residing in it. We have several foreigners,- — among them a 
Frenchwoman, Sister Theresa, the one who directs the music in 
the chapel." 

** Ah ! '* said the general, feigning surprise : *' she must have 
been gratified by the triumph of the House of Bourbon ? " 

** I told them the object of the Mass; they are always rather 
curious. '* 

"Perhaps Sister Theresa has some interests in France; she 
might be glad to receive some news, or ask some questions ? " 

"I think not; or she would have spoken to me." 
111—87 



1378 HONORE DE BALZAC / 

« 

" As a compatriot, " said the general, " I should be curious to 
see — that is, if it were possible, if the superior would consent, 
if— » 

" At the grating, even in the presence of the reverend Mother, 
an interview would be absolutely impossible for any ordinary 
man, no matter who he was; but in favor of a liberator of a 
Catholic throne and our holy religion, possibly, in spite of the 
rigid rule of our Mother Theresa, the rule might be relaxed," 
said the confessor. ** I will speak about it. " 

*' How old is Sister Theresa ? ** asked the lover, who dared not 
question the priest about the beauty of the nun. 

" She is no longer of any age, " said the good old man, with 
a simplicity which made the general shudder. 

Ill 

The next day, before the siesta, the confessor came to tell the 
general that Sister Theresa and the Mother-superior consented to 
receive him at the grating that evening before the hour of ves- 
pers. After the siesta, during which the Frenchman had whiled 
away the time by walking round the port in the fierce heat of 
the sun, the priest carne to show him the way into the con- 
vent. 

He was guided through a gallery which ran the length of the 
cemetery, where fountains and trees and numerous arcades gave 
a cool freshness in keeping with that still and silent spot. When 
they reached the end of this long gallery, the priest led his com- 
panion into a parlor, divided in the middle by a grating covered 
with a brown curtain. On the side which we must call public, 
and where the confessor left the general, there was a wooden 
bench along one side of the wall; some chairs, also of wood, were 
near the grating. The ceiling was of wood, crossed by heavy 
beams of the evergreen oak, without ornament. Daylight came 
from two windows in the division set apart for the nuns, and 
was absorbed by the brown tones of the room; so that it barely 
showed the picture of the great black Christ, and those of Saint 
Theresa and the Blessed Virgin, which hung on the dark panels 
of the walls. 

The feelings of the general turned, in spite of their violence, 
to a tone of melancholy. He grew calm in these calm precincts. 
Something mighty as the grave seized him beneath these chilling 



HONOR6 DE BALZAC 1375 

rafters. Was it not the eternal silence, the deep peace, the near 
presence of the infinite ? Through the stillness came the fixed 
thought of the cloister, — that thought which glides through the 
air in the half-lights, and is in all things, — the thought unchange- 
able; nowhere seen, which yet grows vast to the imagination; the 
all-comprising phrase, the peace of God. It enters there, with 
living power, into the least religious heart. Convents of men 
are not easily conceivable ; man seems feeble and unmanly in 
them. He is born to act, to fulfil a life of toil; and he escapes 
it in his cell. But in a monastery of women what strength to 
endure, and yet what touching weakness! A man may be pushed 
by a thousand sentiments into the depths of an abbey; he flings 
himself into them as from a precipice. But the woman is drawn 
only by one feeling; she does not unsex herself, — she espouses 
holiness. You may say to the man. Why did you not struggle ? 
but to the cloistered woman life is a struggle still. 

The general found in this mute parlor of the seagirt convent 
memories of himself. Love seldom reaches upward to solemnity; 
but love in the bosom of God, — is there nothing solemn there? 
Yes, more than a man has the right to hope for in this nine- 
teenth century, with our manners and our customs what they 
are. 

The general's soul was one on which such impressions act. 
His nature was noble enough to forget self-interest, honors, Spain, 
the world, or Paris, and rise to the heights of feeling roused by 
this unspeakable termination of his long pursuit. What could be 
more tragic ? How many emotions held these lovers, reunited at 
last on this granite ledge far out at sea, yet separated by an 
idea, an impassable barrier. Look at this man, saying to him- 
self, " Can I triumph over God in that heart ? " 

A slight noise made him quiver. The brown curtain was 
drawn back; he saw in the half-light a woman standing, but her 
face was hidden from him by the projection of a veil, which lay 
in many folds upon her head. According to the rule of the 
Order she was clothed in the brown garb whose color has be- 
come proverbial. The general could not see the naked feet, 
which would have told him the frightful emaciation of her body; 
yet through the thick folds of the coarse robe that swathed her, 
his heart divined that tears and prayers and passion and solitude 
had wasted her away. 

The chill hand of a woman, doubtless the Mother-superior, 
held back the curtain, and the general, examining this unwelcome 



1380 HONORE DE BALZAC ' 

witness of the interview, encountered the deep grave eyes of an 
old nun, very aged, whose clear, even youthful, glance belied ' 
the wrinkles that furrowed her pale face. 

"Madame la duchesse," he said, in a voice shaken by emotion, 
to the Sister, who bowed her head, " does your companion under- 
stand French ? " 

* There is no duchess here," replied the nun. "You are in 
presence of Sister Theresa. The woman whom you call my 
companion is my Mother in God, my superior here below.** 

These words, humbly uttered by a voice that once harmonized 
with the luxury and elegance in which this woman had lived 
queen of the world of Pans, that fell from lips whose language 
had been of old so gay, so mocking, struck the general as if 
with an electric shock. 

"My holy Mother speaks only Latin and Spanish,** she added. 

" I understand neither. Dear Antoinette, make her my ex- 
cuses. ** 

As she heard her name softly uttered by a man once so hard 
to her, the nun was shaken by emotion, betrayed only by the 
light quivering of her veil, on which the light now fully fell. 

"My brother,** she said, passing her sleeve beneath her veil, 
perhaps to wipe her eyes, "my name is Sister Theresa.** 

Then she turned to the Mother, and said to her in Spanish a 
few words which the general plainly heard. He knew enough of 
the language to understand it, perhaps to speak it. " My dear 
Mother, this gentleman presents to you his respects, and begs 
you to excuse him for not laying them himself at your feet; but 
he knows neither of the languages which you speak. ** 

The old woman slowly bowed her head; her countenance took 
an expression of angelic sweetness, tempered, nevertheless, by 
the consciousness of her power and dignity. 

" You know this gentleman ? ** she asked, with a piercing 
glance at the Sister. 

"Yes, my Mother.** 

" Retire to your cell, my daughter, ** said the Superior in a 
tone of authority. 

The general hastily withdrew to the shelter of the curtain, 
lest his face should betray the anguish these words cost him ; but 
he fancied that the penetrating eyes of the Superior followed 
him even into the shadow. This woman, arbiter of the frail and 
fleeting joy he had won at such cost, made him afraid; he trem- 
bled, he whom a triple range of cannon could not shake. 



HONORE DE BALZAC l^gl 

The duchess walked to the door, but there she turned. " My 
Mother," she said, in a voice horribly calm, "this Frenchman is 
one of my brothers." 

"Remain, therefore, my daughter," said the old woman, after 
a pause. 

The Jesuitism of this answer revealed such love and such 
regret, that a man of less firmness than the general would have 
betrayed his joy in the midst of a peril so novel to him. But 
what value could there be in the words, looks, gestures of a love 
that must be hidden from the eyes of a lynx, the claws of a 
tiger ? The Sister came back. 

"You see, my brother," she said, "what I have dared to do 
that I might for one moment speak to you of your salvation, and 
tell you of the prayers which day by day my soul offers to 
heaven on your behalf. I have committed a mortal sin, — -I have 
lied. How many days of penitence to wash out that lie I But I 
shall suffer for you. You know not, my brother, the joy of lov- 
ing in heaven, of daring to avow affections that religion has 
purified, that have risen to the highest regions, that at last we 
know and feel with the soul alone. If the doctrines — if the 
spirit of the saint to whom we owe this refuge had not lifted me 
above the anguish of earth to a world, not indeed where she is, 
but far above my lower life, I could not have seen you now. 
But I can see you, I can hear you, and remain calm." 

"Antoinette," said the general, interrupting these words, "suf- 
fer me to see you — you, whom I love passionately, to madness, 
as you once would have had me love you." 

" Do not call me Antoinette, I implore you : memories of the 
past do me harm. See in me only the Sister Theresa, a creature 
trusting all to the divine pity. And," she added, after a pause, 
" subdue yourself, my brother. Our Mother would separate us 
instantly if your face betrayed earthly passions, or your eyes shed 
tears. " 

The general bowed his head, as if to collect himself; when 
he again lifted his eyes to the grating he saw between two bars 
the pale, emaciated, but still ardent face of the nun. Her com- 
plexion, where once had bloomed the loveliness of youth, — where 
once there shone the happy contrast of a pure, clear whiteness 
with the colors of a Bengal rose, — now had the tints of a porce- 
lain cup through which a feeble light showed faintly. The beau- 
tiful hair of which this woman was once so proud was shaven; a 



1382 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



white band bound her brows and was wrapped around her face. 
Her eyes, circled with dark shadows due to the austerities of her 
life, glanced at moments with a feverish light, of which their 
habitual calm was but the mask. In a word, of this woman 
nothing remained but her soul. 

"Ah! you will leave this tomb — you, who are my life! You 
belonged to me; you were not free to give yourself — not even 
to God. Did you not promise to sacrifice all to the least of my 
commands ? Will you now think me worthy to claim that promise, 
if I tell you what I have done for your sake ? I have sought 
you through the whole world. For five years you have been the 
thought of every instant, the occupation of every hour, of my life. 
My friends — friends all-powerful as you know — have helped me 
to search the convents of France, Spain, Italy, Sicily, America. 
My love has deepened with every fruitless search. Many a long 
journey I have taken on a false hope. I have spent my life and 
the strong beatings of my heart about the walls of cloisters. I 
will not speak to you of a fidelity unlimited. What is it? — noth- 
ing compared to the infinitude of my love ! If in other days your 
remorse was real, you cannot hesitate to follow me now." 

"You forget that I am not free." 

" The duke is dead, *> he said hastily. 

Sister Theresa colored. " May Heaven receive him ! ** she said, 
with quick emotion : " he was generous to me. But I did not 
speak of those tics: one of my faults was my willingness to 
break them without scruple for you.'* 

" You speak of your vows, *' cried the general, frowning. " I 
little thought that anything would weigh in your heart against 
our love. But do not fear, Antoinette ; I will obtain a brief from 
the Holy Father which will absolve your vows. I will go to 
Rome; I will petition every earthly power; if God himself came 
down from heaven I — " 

" Do not blaspheme ! 

" Do not fear how God would see it ! Ah ! I wish I were as 
sure that you will leave these walls with me; that to-night — to- 
night, you would embark at the feet of these rocks. Let us go 
to find happiness ! I know not where — at the ends of the earth ! 
With me you will come back to life, to health — in the shelter of 
my love ! " 

"Do not say these things," replied the Sister; "you do not 
know what you now are to me. I love you better than I once 



HONORfi DE BALZAC I383 

loved you. I pray to God for you daily. I see you no longer 
with the eyes of my body. If you but knew, Armand, the joy 
of being able, without shame, to spend myself upon a pure love 
which God protects! You do not know the joy I have in calling 
down the blessings of heaven upon your head. I never pray for 
myself: God will do with me according to his will. But you — 
at the price of my eternity I would win the assurance that you 
are happy in this world, that you will be happy in another 
throughout the ages. My life eternal is all that misfortunes have 
left me to give you. I have grown old in grief; I am no longer 
young or beautiful. Ah! you would despise a nun who returned 
to be a woman; no sentiment, not even maternal love, could 
absolve her. What could you say to me that would shake the 
unnumbered reflections my heart has made in five long years, — 
and which have changed it, hollowed it, withered it ? Ah ! I 
should have given something less sad to God ! " 

" What can I say to yovi, dear Antoinette ? I will say that I 
love you; that affection, love, true love, the joy of living in a 
heart all ours, — wholly ours, without one reservation, — is so rare, 
so difficult to find, that I once doubted you; I put you to cruel 
tests. But to-day I love and trust you with all the powers of my 
soul. If you will follow me I will listen throughout life to no 
voice but thine. I will look on no face — '* 

" Silerfce, Armand ! you shorten the sole moments which are 
given to us to see each other here below." 

* Antoinette ! will you follow me ? ** 

"I never leave you. I live in your heart — but with another 
power than that of earthly pleasure, or vanity, or selfish joy. I 
live here for you, pale and faded, in the bosom of God. If God 
is just, you will be happy." 

** Phrases ! you give me phrases ! But if I will to have you 
pale and faded, — if I cannot be happy unless you are with me ? 
What ! will you forever place duties before my love ? Shall I 
never be above all things else in your heart ? In the past you 
put the world, or self — I know not what — above me; to-day it 
is God, it is my salvation. In this Sister Theresa I recognize the 
duchess; ignorant of the joys of love, unfeeling beneath a pretense 
of tenderness ! You do not love me ! you never loved me ! — " 

«Oh, my brother! — " 

** You will not leave this tomb. You love my soul, you say : 
well! you shall destroy it forever and ever. I will kill myself — " 



1384 HONORE DE BALZAC 

"My Mother!'* cried the mm, "I have Hed to you; this man 
IS my lover.'* 

The curtain fell. The general, stunned, heard the doors close 
with violence. 

** She loves me still ! " he cried, comprehending all that was 
revealed in the cry of the nun. " I will find means to carry her 
away ! " 

He left the island immediately, and returned to France. 

'lYanslation copyrighted by Roberts Brothers. 



<AN EPISODE UNDER THE TERROR > 

ON THE 2 2d of January, 1793, towards eight o'clock in the 
evening, an old gentlewoman came down the sharp decliv- 
ity of the Faubourg Saint-Martin, which ends near the 
church of Saint-Laurent in Paris. Snow had fallen throughout 
the day, so that footfalls could be scarcely heard. The streets 
were deserted. The natural fear inspired by such stillness was 
deepened by the terror to which all France was then a prey. 

The old lady had met no one. Her failing sight hindered 
her from perceiving in the distance a few pedestrians, sparsely 
scattered like shadows, along the broad road of the faubourg. 
She was walking bravely through the solitude as if her age were 
a talisman to guard her from danger; but after passing the Rue 
des Morts she fancied that she heard the firm, heavy tread of a 
man coming behind her. The thought seized her mind that she 
had been listening to it unconsciously for some time. Terrified 
at the idea of being followed, she tried to walk faster to reach a 
lighted shop-window, and settle the doubt which thus assailed 
her. When well beyond the horizontal rays of light thrown 
across the pavement, she turned abruptly and saw a human form 
looming through the fog. The indistinct glimpse was enough. 
She staggered for an instant under the weight of terror, for she 
no longer doubted that this unknown man had tracked her, step 
by step, from her home. The hope of escaping such a spy lent 
strength to her feeble limbs. Incapable of reasoning, she quick- 
ened her steps to a run, as if it were possible to escape a man 
necessarily more agile than she. After running for a few min- 
utes, she reached the shop of a pastry-cook, entered it, and fell, 
rather than sat, down on a chair which stood before the counter. 



HOXORE DE BALZAC 1 385 

As she lifted the creaking- latch of the door, a young woman, 
who was at work on a piece of embroidery, looked up and recog- 
nized through the glass panes the antiquated mantle of purple 
silk which wrapped the old lady, and hastened to pull open a 
drawer, as if to take from thence something- that she had to give 
her. The action and the expression of the young woman not 
only implied a wish to get rid of the stranger, as of some one 
most unwelcome, but she let fall an exclamation of impatience 
at finding the drawer empty. Then, without looking at the 
lady, she came rapidly from behind the counter, and went to- 
wards the back-shop to call her husband, who appeared at once. 

"Where have you put ?" she asked him, mysteri- 
ously, calling his attention to the old lady by a glance, and not 
concluding her sentence. 

Although the pastry-cook could see nothing but the enormous 
black-silk hood circled with purple ribbons which the stranger 
wore, he disappeared, with a glance at his wife which seemed to 
say, " Do you suppose I should leave tliat on your counter ? " 

Surprised at the silence and immobility of her customer, the 
wife came forward, and was seized with a sudden movement 
of compassion as well as of curiosity when she looked at her. 
Though the complexion of the old gentlewoman was naturally 
livid, like that of a person vowed to secret austerities, it was 
easy to see that some recent alarm had spread an unusual pale- 
ness over her features. Her head-covering was so arranged as 
to hide the hair, whitened no doubt by age, for the cleanly collar 
of her dress proved that she wore no powder. The concealment 
of this natural adornment gave to her countenance a sort of 
conventual severity; but its features were grave and noble. In 
former days the habits and manners of people of quality were 
so diiTerent from those of all other classes that it was easy to dis- 
tinguish persons of noble birth. The young shop-woman felt 
certain, therefore, that the stranger was a ci-dcvant, and one who 
had probably belonged to the court. 

" Madame ? " she said, with involuntary respect, forgetting that 
the title was proscribed. 

The old lady made no answer. Her eyes were fixed on the 
glass of the shop-window, as if soi-ne alarming object were 
painted upon it. 

" What is the matter, citoyenne ? " asked the master of the 
establishment, re-entering, and drawing the attention of his 



1386 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



customer to a little cardboard box covered with blue paper, 
which he held out to her. 

** It is nothing, nothing, my friends, " she answered in a gentle 
voice, as she raised her eyes to give the man a thankful look. 
Seeing a phrygian cap upon his head, a cry escaped her: — "Ah! 
it is you who have betrayed me ! " 

The young woman and her husband replied by a deprecat- 
ing gesture of horror which caused the unknown lady to blush, 
either for her harsh suspicion or from the relief of feeling it 
unjust. 

" Excuse me, " she said, with childlike sweetness. Then tak- 
ing a gold louis from her pocket, she offered it to the pastry- 
cook. "Here is the sum we agreed upon," she added. 

There is a poverty which poor people quickly divine. The 
shopkeeper and his wife looked at each other with a glance at 
the old lady that conveyed a mutual thought. The louis was 
doubtless her last. The hands of the poor woman trembled as 
she offered it, and her eyes rested upon it sadly, yet not with 
avarice. She seemed to feel the full extent of her sacrifice. 
Hunger and want were traced upon her features in lines as legi- 
ble as those of timidity and ascetic habits. Her clothing showed 
vestiges of luxury. It was of silk, well-worn; the mantle was 
clean, though faded; the laces carefully darned; in short, here 
were the rags of opulence. The two shopkeepers, divided be- 
tween pity and self-interest, began to soothe their conscience with 
words : — 

"• Citoyenne, you seem very feeble — " 

" Would Madame like to take something ? ** asked the wife, 
cutting short her husband's speech. 

" We have some very good broth, '* he added. 

" It is so cold, perhaps Madame is chilled by her walk ; but 
you can rest here and warm yourself." 

"The devil is not so black as he is painted," cried the hus- 
band. 

Won by the kind tone of these words, the old lady admitted 
that she had been followed by a man and was afraid of going 
home alone. 

" Is that all ? " said the man with the phrygian cap. " Wait 
for me, citoyenne.^'' 

He gave the louis to his wife. Then moved by a species of 
gratitude which slips into the shopkeeping soul when its owner 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1387 



receives an exorbitant price for an article of little value, he went 
to put on his uniform as a National guard, took his hat, slung 
on his sabre, and reappeared under arms. But the wife mean- 
time had reflected. Reflection, as often happens in many hearts, 
had closed the open hand of her benevolence. Uneasy, and 
alarmed lest her husband should be mixed up in some dangerous 
affair, she pulled him by the flap of his coat, intending to stop 
him; but the worthy man, obeying the impulse of charity, 
promptly offered to escort the poor lady to her home. 

** It seems that the man who has given her this fright is 
prowling outside," said his wife nervously. 

" I am afraid he is, " said the old lady, with much simplicity. 

** Suppose he should be a spy. Perhaps it is a conspiracy. 
Don't go. Take back the box." These words, whispered in the 
pastry-cook's ear by the wife of his bosom, chilled the sudden 
compassion that had warmed him. 

"Well, well, I will just say two words to the man and get rid 
of him," he said, opening the door and hurrying out. 

The old gentlewoman, passive as a child and half paralyzed 
with fear, sat down again. The shopkeeper almost instantly re- 
appeared; but his face, red by nature and still further scorched 
by the fires of his bakery, had suddenly turned pale, and he was 
in the grasp of such terror that his legs shook and his eyes were 
like those of a drunken man. 

" Miserable aristocrat ! " he cried, furiously, " do you want to 
cut off our heads ? Go out from here ; let me see your heels, 
and don't dare to come back; don't expect me to supply you 
with the means of conspiracy ! " 

So saying, the pastry-cook endeavored to get back the little 
box which the old lady had already slipped into one of her 
pockets. Hardly had the bold hands of the shopkeeper touched 
her clothing, than, preferring to encounter danger with no pro- 
tection but that of God rather than lose the thing she had come 
to buy, she recovered the agility of youth, and sprang to the 
door, through which she disappeared abruptly, leaving the hus- 
band and wife amazed and trembling. 

As soon as the poor lady found herself alone in the street she 
began to walk rapidly; but her strength soon gave way, for she 
once more heard the snow creaking under the footsteps of the 
spy as he trod heavily upon it. She was obliged to stop short: 
the. man stopped also. She dared not speak to him, nor even 



J 38^ HONORE DE BALZAC 

look at him ; either because of her terror, or from some lack of 
natural intelligence. Presently she continued her walk slowly; 
the man measured his step by hers, and kept at the same dis- 
tance behind her; he, seemed to move like her shadow. Nine 
o'clock struck as the silent couple repassed the church of Saint- 
Laurent. It is the nature of all souls, even the weakest, to fall 
back into quietude after moments of violent agitation; for mani- 
fold as our feelings may be, our bodily powers are limited. 
Thus the old lady, receiving no injury from her apparent perse- 
cutor, began to think that he might be a secret friend watching 
to protect her. She gathered up in her mind the circumstances 
attending other apparitions of the mysterious stranger as if to 
find plausible grounds for this consoling opinion, and took pleas- 
ure in crediting him with good rather than sinister intentions. 
Forgetting the terror he had inspired in the pastry-cook, she 
walked on with a firmer step towards the upper part of the Fau- 
bourg Saint-Martin. 

At the end of half an hour she reached a house standing close 
to the junction of the chief street of the faubourg with the street 
leading out to the Barriere de Pantin. The place is to this day 
one of the loneliest in Paris. The north wind blowing from Belle- 
ville and the Buttes Chaumont whistled among the houses, or 
rather cottages, scattered through the sparsely inhabited little 
valley, where the inclosures are fenced with walls built of mud 
and refuse bones. This dismal region seems the natural home of 
poverty and despair. The man who was intent on following the 
poor creature who had had the courage to thread these dark and 
silent streets seemed struck with the spectacle they offered. He 
stopped as if reflecting, and stood in a hesitating attitude, dimly 
visible by a street lantern whose flickering light scarcely pierced 
the fog. Fear gave eyes to the old gentlewoman, who now 
fancied that she saw something sinister in the features of this 
unknown man. All her terrors revived, and profiting by the 
curious hesitation that had seized him, she glided like a shadow 
to the doorway of the solitary dwelling, touched a spring, and 
disappeared with phantasmagoric rapidity. 

The man, standing motionless, gazed at the house, which was, 
as it were, a type of the wretched buildings of the neighborhood. 
The tottering hovel, built of porous stone in rough blocks, was 
coated with yellow plaster much cracked, and looked ready to 
fall before a gust of wind. The roof, of brown tiles covered 



HONOR E DE BALZAC 



1389 



with moss, had sunk in several places, and gave the impression 
that the weight of snow might break it down at any moment. 
Each story had tliree windows whose frames, rotted by dampness 
and shnmken by the heat of the sun, told that the outer cold 
penetrated to the chambers. The lonely house seemed like an 
ancient tower that time had forgotten to destroy. A faint light 
gleamed from the garret windows, which were irregularly cut in 
the roof; but the rest of the house was in complete obscurity. 
The old woman went up the rough and clumsy stairs with diffi- 
culty, holding fast to a rope which took the place of baluster. 
She knocked furtively at the door of a lodging under the roof, 
and sat hastily down on a chair which an old man offered her. 

"Hide! hide yourself I" she cried. "Though we go out so 
seldom, our errands are known, our steps are watched — " 

" What has happened ? " asked another old woman sitting near 
the fire. 

" The man who has hung about the house since yesterday fol- 
lowed me to-night." 

At these words the occupants of the hovel looked at each 
other with terror in their faces. The old man was the least 
moved of the three, possibly because he was the one in greatest 
danger. Under the pressure of misfortune or the yoke of perse- 
cution a man of courage begins, as it were, by preparing for the 
sacrifice of himself: he looks upon his days as so many victories 
won from fate. The eyes of the two women, fixed upon the 
old man, showed plainly that he alone w^as the object of their 
extreme anxiety. 

" Why distrust God, my sisters ? " he said, in a hollow but 
impressive voice. "We chanted praises to his name amid the 
cries of victims and assassins at the convent. If it pleased him 
to save me from that butchery, it was doubtless for some destiny 
which I shall accept w^ithout a murmur. God protects his own, 
and disposes of them according to his will. It is of you, not of 
me, that we should think." 

"No," said one of the women: "what is our life in compari- 
son with that of a priest ? " 

" Ever since the day when I found myself outside of the 
Abbaye des Chelles," said the nun beside the fire, "I have given 
myself up for dead." 

"Here," said the one who had just come in, holding out the 
little box to the priest, "here are the sacramental wafers — 



1 39© 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



Listen ! " she cried, interrupting herself. ** I hear some one on 
the stairs. " 

At these words all three listened intently. The noise ceased. 

" Do not be frightened, '* said the priest, " even if some one 
asks to enter. A person on whose fidelity we can safely rely has 
taken measures to cross the frontier, and he will soon call here 
for letters which I have written to the Due de Langeais and the 
Marquis de Beauseant, advising them as to the measures they 
must take to get you out of this dreadful country, and save you 
from the misery or the death you would otherwise undergo here.'* 

* Shall you not follow us ? '* said the two nuns softly, but in a 
tone of despair. 

* My place is near the victims, * said the priest, simply. 

The nuns were silent, looking at him with devout admiration. 

*' Sister Martha, ** he said, addressing the nun who had fetched 
the wafers, ** this messenger must answer * Fiat voluntas * to the 
word * Hosanna. * " 

** There is some one on the stairway, ** exclaimed the other 
nun, hastily opening a hiding-place burrowed at the edge of the 
roof. 

This time it was easy to hear the steps of a man sounding 
through the deep silence on the rough stairs, which were caked 
with patches of hardened mud. The priest slid with difficulty 
into a narrow hiding-place, and the nuns hastily threw articles of 
apparel over him. 

"You can shut me in. Sister Agatha," he said, in a smothered 
voice. 

He was scarcely hidden when three knocks upon the door 
made the sisters tremble and consult each other with their eyes, 
for they dared not speak. Forty years' separation from the world 
had made them like plants of a hot-house which wilt when 
brought into the outer air. Accustomed to the life of a convent, 
they could not conceive of any other; and when one morning 
their bars and gratings were flung down, they had shuddered at 
finding themselves free. It is easy to imagine the species of 
imbecility which the events of the Revolution, enacted before 
their eyes, had produced in these innocent souls. Quite incapable 
of harmonizing their conventual ideas with the exigencies of 
ordinary life, not even comprehending their own situation, they 
were like children who had always been cared for, and who now, 
torn from their maternal providence, had taken to prayers as 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



139I 



Other children take to tears. So it happened that in presence of 
immediate danger they were dumb and passive, and could think 
of no other defence than Christian resignation. 

The man who sought to enter interpreted their silence as he 
pleased; he suddenly opened the door and showed himself. The 
two nuns trembled when they recognized the individual who for 
some days had watched the house and seemed to make inquiries 
about its inmates. They stood quite still and looked at him with 
uneasy curiosity, like the children of savages examining a being 
of another sphere. The stranger was very tall and stout, but 
nothing in his manner or appearance denoted that he was a bad 
man. He copied the immobility of the sisters and stood motion- 
less, letting his eye rove slowly round the room. 

Two bundles of straw placed on two planks served as beds 
for the nuns. A table was in the middle of the room; upon it a 
copper candlestick, a few plates, three knives, and a round loaf 
of bread. The fire on the hearth was very low, and a few sticks 
of wood piled in a corner of the room testified to the poverty of 
the occupants. The walls, once covered with a coat of paint 
now much defaced, showed the wretched condition of the roof 
through which the rain had trickled, making a network of brown 
stains. A sacred relic, saved no doubt from the pillage of the 
Abbaye des Chelles, adorned the mantel-shelf of the chimney. 
Three chairs, two coffers, and a broken chest of drawers com- 
pleted the furniture of the room. A doorway cut near the fire- 
place showed there was probably an inner chamber. 

The inventory of this poor cell was soon made by the indi- 
vidual who had presented himself under such alarming auspices. 
An expression of pity crossed his features, and as he threw a 
kind glance upon the frightened women he seemed as much em- 
barrassed as they. The strange silence in which they all three 
stood and faced each other lasted but a moment; for the stranger 
seemed to guess the moral weakness and inexperience of the poor 
helpless creatures, and he said, in a voice which he strove to 
render gentle, " I have not come as an enemy, citoyennes. " 

Then he paused, but resumed : — " My sisters, if harm should 
ever happen to you, be sure that I shall not have contributed to 
it. I have come to ask a favor of you." 

They still kept silence. 

" If I ask too much — if I anno}- j'ou — I will go away ; bi:t 
believe me, I am heartily devoted to you, and if there is any 



1392 HONORE DE BALZAC 

service that I could render you, you may employ me without 
fear. I, and I alone, perhaps, am above law — since there is no 
longer a king." 

The ring of truth in these words induced Sister Agatha, a 
nun belonging to the ducal house of Langeais, and whose man- 
ners indicated that she had once lived amid the festivities of life 
and breathed the air of courts, to point to a chair as if she asked 
their guest to be seated. The unknown gave vent to an expres- 
sion of joy, mingled with melancholy, as he understood this 
gesture. He waited respectfully till the sisters were seated, and 
then obeyed it. 

"You have given shelter," he said, "to a venerable priest not 
sworn in by the Republic, who escaped miraculously from the 
massacre at the Convent of the Carmelites." 

" Hosanna, " said Sister Agatha, suddenly interrupting the 
stranger, and looking at him with anxious curiosity. 

"That is not his name, I think," he answered. 

"But, Monsieur, we have no priest here," cried Sister Martha, 
hastily, "and — " 

" Then you should take better precautions, " said the unknown 
gently, stretching his arm to the table and picking up a breviary. 
"I do not think you understand Latin, and — " 

He stopped short, for the extreme distress painted on the 
faces of the poor nuns made him fear he had gone too far; they 
trembled violently, and their eyes filled with tears. 

" Do not fear, " he said ; " I know the name of your guest, 
and yours also. During the last three days I have learned your 
poverty, and your great devotion to the venerable Abbe of — " 

" Hush ! " exclaimed Sister Agatha, ingenuously putting a fin- 
ger on her lip. 

"You see, my sisters, that if I had the horrible design of 
betraying you, I might have accomplished it again and again." 

As he uttered these words the priest emerged from his prison 
and appeared in the middle of the room. 

"I cannot beheve, Monsieur," he said courteously, "that you 
are one of our persecutors. I trust you. What is it you desire 
of me ? " 

The saintly confidence of the old man, and the nobility of 
mind imprinted on his coimtenance, might have disarmed even 
an assassin. He who thus mysteriously agitated this home of 
penury and resignation stood contemplating the group before 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1393 



him ; then he addressed the priest in a trustful tone, with these 
words: — 

" My father, I came to ask you to celebrate a mass for the 
repose of the soul — of — of a sacred being whose body can never 
lie in holy ground." 

The priest involuntarily shuddered. The nuns, not as yet 
understanding who it was of whom the unknown man had spo- 
ken, stood with their necks stretched and their faces turned 
towards the speakers, in an attijtude of eager curiosity. The 
ecclesiastic looked intently at the stranger; unequivocal anxiety 
was marked on every feature, and his eyes offered an earnest 
and even ardent prayer. 

"Yes," said the priest at length. "Return here at midnight, 
and I shall be ready to celebrate the only funeral service that 
we are able to offer in expiation of the crime of which you 
speak. '* 

The unknown shivered; a joy both sweet and solemn seemed 
to rise in his soul above some secret grief. Respectfully salut- 
ing the priest and the two saintly women, he disappeared with a 
mute gratitude which these generous souls knew well how to 
interpret. 

Two hours later the stranger returned, knocked cautiously at 
the door of the garret, and was admitted by Mademoiselle de 
Langeais, who led him to the inner chamber of the humble 
refuge, where all was in readiness for the ceremony. Between 
two flues of the chimney the nuns had placed the old chest of 
drawers, whose broken edges were concealed by a magnificent 
altar-cloth of green moire. A large ebony and ivory crucifix 
hanging on the discolored wall stood out in strong relief from the 
surrounding bareness, and necessarily caught the eye. Four slen- 
der little tapers, which the sisters had contrived to fasten to the 
altar with sealing-wax, threw a pale glimmer dimly reflected by 
the yellow wall. These feeble rays scarcely lit up the rest of the 
chamber, but as their light fell upon the sacred objects it seemed 
a halo falling from heaven upon the bare and undecorated altar. 

The floor was damp. The attic roof, which sloped sharply on 
both sides of the room, was full of chinks through which the 
wind penetrated. Nothing could be less stately, yet nothing 
was ever more solemn than this lugubrious ceremony. Silence 
so deep that some far-distant cry could have pierced it, lent a 
sombre majesty to the nocturnal scene. The grandeur of the 



1394 HONORE DE BALZAC 

occasion contrasted vividly with the poverty of its circumstances, 
and roused a feeling of religious terror. On either side of the 
altar the old nuns, kneeling on the tiled floor and taking no 
thought of its mortal dampness, were praying in concert with 
the priest, who, robed in his pontifical vestments, placed upon 
the altar a golden chalice incrusted with precious stones, — a 
sacred vessel rescued, no doubt, from the pillage of the Abbaye 
des Chelles. Close to this vase, which was a gift of royal munifi- 
cence, the bread and wine of the consecrated sacrifice were con- 
tained in two glass tumblers scarcely worthy of the meanest 
tavern. In default of a missal the priest had placed his breviary 
on a corner of the altar. A common earthenware platter was 
provided for the washing of those innocent hands, pure and 
unspotted with blood. All was majestic and yet paltry; poor but 
noble ; profane and holy in one. 

The unknown man knelt piously between the sisters. Sud- 
denly, as he caught sight of the crape upon the chalice and the 
crucifix, — for in default of other means of proclaiming the object 
of this funeral rite the priest had put God himself into mourn- 
ing, — the mysterious visitant was seized by some all-powerful 
recollection, and drops of sweat gathered on his brow. The four 
silent actors in this scene looked at each other with mysterious 
sympathy; their souls, acting one upon another, communicated 
to each the feelings of all, blending them into the one emotion of 
religious pity. It seemed as though their thought had evoked 
from the dead the sacred martyr whose body was devoured by 
quicklime, but whose shade rose up before them in royal maj- 
esty. They were celebrating a funeral Mass without the remains 
of the deceased. Beneath these rafters and disjointed laths four 
Christian souls were interceding with God for a king of France, 
and making his burial without a coffin. It was the purest of all 
devotions; an act of wonderful loyalty accomplished without one 
thought of self. Doubtless in the eyes of God it was the cup of 
cold water that weighed in the balance against many virtues. 
The whole of monarchy was there in the prayers of the priest 
and the two poor women; but also it may have been that the 
Revolution was present likewise, in the person of the strange 
being whose face betrayed the remorse that led him to make this 
solemn offering of a vast repentance. 

Instead of pronouncing the Latin words, ** Introibo ad altare 
Dei,'* etc., the priest, with divine intuition, glanced at his three 
assistants, who represented all Christian France, and said, in 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1395 



words which eflfaced the penury and meanness of the hovel, "We 
enter now into the sanctuary of God." 

At these words, uttered with penetrating unction, a solemn 
awe seized the participants. Beneath the dome of St. Peter's in 
Rome, God had never seemed more majestic to man than he did 
now in this refuge of poverty and to the eyes of these Chris- 
tians, — so true is it that between man and God all mediation is 
unneeded, for his glory descends from himself alone. The fer- 
vent piety of the nameless man was unfeigned, and the feeling 
that held these four servants of God and the king was unani- 
mous. The sacred words echoed like celestial music amid the 
silence. There was a moment when the unknown broke down 
and wept: it was at the Pater Noster, to which the priest added 
a Latin clause which the stranger doubtless comprehended and 
applied, — " Et remitte scelus regicidis sicut Ludovicus eis remisit 
semetipse " (And forgive the regicides even as Louis XVI. him- 
self forgave them). The two nuns saw the tears coursing down 
the manly cheeks of their visitant, and dropping fast on the tiled 
floor. 

The Office of the Dead was recited. The " Domine salvum 
fac regem," sung in low tones, touched the hearts of these faith- 
ful royalists as they thought of the infant king, now captive in 
the hands of his enemies, for whom this prayer was offered. The 
unknown shuddered; perhaps he feared an impending crime in 
which he would be called to take an unwilling part. 

When the service was over, the priest made a sign to the 
nuns, who withdrew to the outer room. As soon as he was alone 
with the unknown, the old man went up to him w" .h gentle sad- 
ness of manner, and said in the tone of a father, — 

" My son, if you have steeped your hands in the blood of the 
martyr king, confess yourself to me. There is no crime which, 
in the eyes of God, is not washed out by a repentance as deep 
and sincere as yours appears to be.** 

At the first words of the ecclesiastic an involuntary' motion of 
terror escaped the stranger; but he quickly recovered himself, 
and looked at the astonished priest with calm assurance. 

" Aly father," he said, in a voice that nevertheless trembled, 
"no one is more innocent than I of the blood shed — " 

" I believe it ! " said the priest. 

He paused a moment, during which he examined afresh his 
penitent; then, persisting in the belief that he was one of those 



1396 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



timid members of the Assembly who sacrificed the inviolate and 
sacred head to save their own, he resumed in a grave voice; — 

"Reflect, my son, that something more than taking no part 
in that great crime is needed to absolve from guilt, '^'hose who 
kept their sword in the scabbard when they might have defended 
their king have a heavy account to render to the King of kings. 
Oh, yes," added the venerable man, moving his head from right 
to left with an expressive motion ; ** yes, heavy, indeed ! for, stand- 
ing idle, they made themselves the accomplices of a horrible 
transgression. " 

** Do you believe, " asked the stranger, in a surprised tone, 
"that even an indirect participation will be punished? The sol- 
dier ordered to form the line — do you think he was guilty?" 

The priest hesitated. Glad of the dilemma that placed this 
puritan of royalty between the dogma of passive obedience, which 
according to the partisans of monarchy should dominate the mil- 
itary system, and the other dogma, equally imperative, which 
consecrates the person of the king, the stranger hastened to 
accept the hesitation of the priest as a solution of the doubts 
that seemed to trouble him. Then, so as not to allow the old 
Jansenist time for further reflection, he said quickly: — 

" I should blush to ofifer you any fee whatever in acknowledg- 
ment of the funeral service you have just celebrated for the 
repose of the king's soul and for the discharge of my conscience. 
We can only pay for inestimable things by offerings which are 
likewise beyond all price. Deign to accept, Monsieur, the gift 
which I now make to you of a holy relic; the day may come 
when you wi^ know its value.'* 

As he said these words he gave the ecclesiastic a little box 
of light weight. The priest took it as it were involuntarily; for 
the solemn tone in which the words were uttered, and the awe 
with which the stranger held the box, struck him with fresh 
amazement. They re-entered the outer room, where the two 
nuns were waiting for them. 

"You are living," said the unknown, "in a house whose 
owner, Mucins Scaevola, the plasterer who lives on the first floor, 
is noted in the Section for his patriotism. He is, however, 
secretly attached to the Bourbons. He was formerly huntsman 
to Monseigneur the Prince de Conti, to whom he owes every- 
thing. As long as you stay in this house you are in greater 
safety than you can be in any other part of France. Remain 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1397 



here. Pious souls will watch uver you and supply your wants; 
and you can await without danger the coming of better days. A 
year hence, on the 21st of January" (as he uttered these last 
words he could not repress an involuntary shudder), " I shall 
return to celebrate once more the Mass of expiation — '* 

He could not end the sentence. Bowing to the silent occu- 
pants of the garret, he cast a last look upon the signs of their 
poverty and disappeared. 

To the two simple-minded women this event had all the inter- 
est of a romance. As soon as the venerable abbe told them of 
the mysterious gift so solemnly offered by the stranger, they 
placed the box upon the table, and the three anxious faces, faintly 
lighted by a tallow-candle, betrayed an indescribable curiosity. 
Mademoiselle de Langeais opened the box and took from it a 
handkerchief of extreme fineness, stained with sweat. As she 
unfolded it they saw dark stains. 

" That is blood I " exclaimed the priest. 

" It is marked with the royal crown I '* cried the other nun. 

The sisters let fall the precious relic with gestures of horror. 
To these ingenuous souls the mystery that wrapped their unknown 
visitor became inexplicable, and the priest from that day forth 
forbade himself to search for its solution. 

The three prisoners soon perceived that, in spite of the 
Terror, a powerful arm was stretched over them. First, they 
received firewood and provisions; next, the sisters guessed that a 
woman was associated with their protector, for linen and cloth- 
ing caine to them mysteriously, and enabled them to go out 
without danger of observation from the aristocratic fashion of 
the only garments they had been able to secure; finally, Mucins 
Scaevola brought them certificates of citizenship. Advice as to 
the necessary means of insuring the safety of the venerable 
priest often came to them from tmexpected quarters, and proved 
so singularly opportune that it was quite evident it could only 
have been given by some one in possession of state secrets. In 
spite of the famine which then afflicted Paris, they found daily 
at the door of their hovel rations of white bread, laid there 
by invisible hands. They thought they recognized in Mucins 
Scaevola the agent of these mysterious benefactions, which were 
always timely and intelligent; but the noble occupants cf the 
poor garret had no doubt whatever that the unknown individual 



1398 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



who had celebrated the midnight Mass on the 2 2d of January, 
1793, was their secret protector. They added to their daily 
prayers a special prayer for him; night and day these pious 
hearts made supplication for his happiness, his prosperity, his 
redemption. They prayed that God would keep his feet from 
snares and save him from his enemies, and grant him a long 
and peaceful life. 

Their gratitude, renewed as it were daily, was necessarily 
mingled with curiosity that grew keener day by day. The cir- 
cumstances attending the appearance of the stranger were a 
ceaseless topic of conversation and of endless conjecture, and 
soon became a benefit of a special kind, from the occupation 
and distraction of mind which was thus produced. They resolved 
that the stranger shotild not be allowed to escape the expression 
of their gratitude when he came to commemorate the next sad 
anniversary of the death of Louis XVI. 

That night, so impatiently awaited, came at length. At mid- 
night the heavy steps resounded up the wooden stairway. The 
room was prepared for the service; the altar was dressed. This 
time the sisters opened the door and hastened to light the 
entrance. Mademoiselle de Langeais even went down a few stairs 
that she might catch the first glimpse of their benefactor. 

" Come ! " she said, in a trembling and affectionate voice. 
*Come, you are expected!'* 

The man raised his head, gave the nun a gloomy look, and 
made no answer. She felt as though an icy garment had fallen 
upon her, and she kept silence. At his aspect gratitude and 
curiosity died within their hearts. He may have been less cold, 
less taciturn, less terrible than he seemed to these poor souls, 
whose own emotions led them to expect a flow of friendship 
from his. They saw that this mysterious being was resolved to 
remain a stranger to them, and they acquiesced with resignation. 
But the priest fancied he saw a smile, quickl)'- repressed, upon 
the stranger's lip as he saw the preparations made to receive 
him. He heard the Mass and prayed, but immediately disap- 
peared, refusing in a few courteous words the invitation given 
by Mademoiselle de Langeais to remain and partake of the 
humble collation they had prepared for him. 

After the 9th Thermidor the nims and the Ahh6 de Marolles 
were able to go about Paris without incurring any danger. The 
first visit of the old priest was to a perfumery at the sign of the 



HONORE DE BALZAC i^gg 

"Queen of Flowers," kept by the citizen and citoyenne Ragon, 
formerly perfumers to the Court, well known for their faithful- 
ness to the royal family, and employed by the Vend^ens as a 
channel of commimication with the princes and royal committees 
in Paris. The abbe, dressed as the times required, was leaving 
the doorstep of the shop, situated between the church of Saint- 
Roch and the Rue des Fondeurs, when a great crowd coming 
down the Rue Saint-Honore hindered him from advancing. 

" What is it ? " he asked of ^ladame Ragon. 

"Oh, nothing I" she answered. "It is the cart and the exe- 
cutioner going to the Place Louis XV. Ah, we saw enough of 
that last year! but now, four days after the anniversary of the 
2 1 St of January, we can look at the horrid procession without 
distress. *' 

" Why so ? " asked the abbe. " What you say is not Chris- 
tian. » 

" But this is the execution of the accomplices of Robespierre. 
They have fought it off as long as they could, but now they 
are going in their turn w'here they have sent so many innocent 
people. '* 

The crowd which filled the Rue Saint-Honore passed on like 
a wave. Above the sea of heads the Abbe de Marolles, yielding 
to an impulse, saw, standing erect in the cart, the stranger who 
three days before had assisted for the second time in the Mass 
of commemoration. 

"Who is that?" he asked; "the one standing- — " 

" That is the executioner, " answered Monsieur Ragon, calling 
the man by his monarchical name. 

" Help ! help ! " cried Madame Ragon. " Monsieur I'Abbe is 
fainting ! " 

She caught up a flask of vinegar and brought him quickly 
back to consciousness. 

"He must have given me," said the old priest, "the handker- 
chief with which the king wiped his brow as he went to his 
martyrdom. Poor man ! that steel knife had a heart when all 
France had none ! " 

The perfumers thought the words of the priest were an effect 
of delirmm. Translation copyrighted by Roberts Brothers. 



,400 HONORE DE BALZAC 

A PASSION IN THE DESERT 
Copyright 1885, by Roberts Brothers • 

« r-pHE sight was fearful!" she exclaimed, as we left the mena- 
I gerie of Monsieur Martin. 

She had been watching that daring speculator as he went 
through his wonderful performance in the den of the hyena. 

"How is it possible," she continued, "to tame- those animals 
so as to be certain that he can trust them ? " 

"You think it a problem," I answered, interrupting her, 
" and yet it is a natural fact. " 

" Oh ! " she cried, an incredulous smile flickering on her lip. 

" Do you think that beasts are devoid of passions ? " I asked. 
** Let me assure you that we teach them all the vices and vir- 
tues of our own state of civilization." 

She looked at me in amazement. 

"The first time I saw Monsieur Martin," I added, "I ex- 
claimed, as you do, with surprise. I happened to be sitting 
beside an old soldier whose right leg was amputated, and whose 
appearance had attracted my notice as I entered the building. 
His face, stamped with the scars of battle, wore the imdaunted 
look of a veteran of the wars of Napoleon. Moreover, the old 
hero had a frank and joj'ous manner which attracts me wherever 
I meet it. He was doubtless one of those old campaigners 
whom nothing can surprise, who find something to laugh at in 
the last contortions of a comrade, and will bur)' a friend or rifle 
his body gayly; challenging bullets with indifference; making 
short shrift for themselves or others; and fraternizing, as a 
usual thing, with the devil. After looking very attentively at 
the proprietor of the menagerie as he entered the den, my com- 
panion curled his lip with that expression of satirical contempt 
which well-informed men sometimes put on to mark the differ- 
ence between themselves and dupes. As I uttered my exclama- 
tion of surprise at the coolness and courage of Monsieur Martin, 
the old soldier smiled, shook his head, and said with a knowing- 
glance, *An old story!* 

" * How do you mean an old story ? * I asked. * If you could 
explain the secret of this mysterious power, I should be greatly 
obliged to you.' 

" After a while, during which we became better acquainted, 
we went to dine at the first cafe we could find after leaving the 



HONORE DE BALZAC 1401 

menagerie. A bottle of champagne with our dessert brightened 
the old man's recollections and made them singularly vivid. 
He related to me a circumstance in his early history which 
proved that he had ample cause to pronounce Monsieur Martin's 
performance * an old story. * " 

When we reached her house, she was so persuasive and cap- 
tivating, and made me so many pretty promises, that I consented 
to write down for her benefit the storj^ told me by the old hero. 
On the following day I sent her this episode of a historical epic, 
which might be entitled, * The French in Egypt. * 



At the time of General Desaix's expedition to Upper Egypt a 
Provengal soldier, w^ho had fallen into the hands of the Mau- 
grabins, was marched by those tireless Arabs across the desert 
which lies beyond the cataracts of the Nile. To put sufficient 
distance between themselves and the French army, the Maugra- 
bins made a forced march and did not halt until after nightfall. 
They then camped about a well shaded with palm-trees, near 
w'hich they had previously buried a stock of provisions. Not 
dreaming that the thought of escape could enter -their captive's 
mind, they merely bound his w^rists, and lay dowm to sleep 
themselves, after eating a few dates and giving their horses a 
feed of barley. When the bold Provengal saw his enemies too 
soundly asleep to watch him, he used his teeth to pick up a 
scimitar, w'ith which, steadying the blade by means of his knees, 
he contrived to cut through the cord which bound his hands, 
and thus recovered his liberty. He at once seized a carbine and 
a poniard, took the precaution to lay in a supply of dates, a 
small bag of barley, some powder and ball, buckled on the 
scimitar, mounted one of the horses, and spurred him in the 
direction where he supposed the French army to be. Impatient 
to meet the outposts, he pressed the horse, which was already 
wearied, so severely that the poor animal fell dead with his 
flanks torn, leaving the Frenchman alone in the midst of the 
desert. 

After marching for a long time through the sand with the 
dogged courage of an escaping galley-slave, the soldier was 
forced to halt, as darkness drew on: for his utter weariness 
compelled him to rest, though the exquisite sky of an eastern 
night might well have tempted him to continue the journey. 



I402 HONORE DE BALZAC 

Happily he had reached a slight elevation, at the top of which 
a few palm-trees shot upward, whose leafage, seen from a long 
distance against the sky, had helped to sustain his hopes. His 
fatigue was so great that he threw himself down on a block of 
granite, cut by Nature into the shape of a camp-bed, and slept 
heavily, without taking the least precaution to protect himself 
while asleep. He accepted the loss of his life as inevitable, and 
his last waking thought was one of regret for having left the 
Maugrabins, whose nomad life began to charm him now that he 
was far away from them and from every other hope of succor. 

He was awakened by the sun, whose pitiless beams falling 
vertically upon the granite rock produced an intolerable heat. 
The Provengal had ignorantly flung himself down in a contrary 
direction to the shadows thrown by the verdant and majestic 
fronds of the palm-trees. He gazed at these solitary monarchs 
and shuddered. They recalled to his mind the graceful shafts, 
crowned with long weaving leaves, which distinguish the Sara- 
cenic columns of the cathedral of Aries. The thought overcame 
him, and when, after counting the trees, he threw his eyes upon 
the scene around him, an agony of despair convulsed his soul. 
He saw a limitless ocean. The sombre sands of the desert 
stretched out till lost to sight in all directions; they glittered 
with dark lustre like a steel blade shining in the sun. He could 
not tell if it were an ocean or a chain of lakes that lay mirrored 
before him. A hot vapor swept in waves above the surface of 
this heaving continent. The sky had the Oriental glow of trans- 
lucent purity, which disappoints because it leaves nothing for 
the imagination to desire. The heavens and the earth were both 
on fire. Silence added its awful and desolate majesty. Infini- 
tude, immensity pressed down upon the soul on every side; not 
a cloud in the sky, not a breath in the air, not a rift on the 
breast of the sand, which was ruffled only with little ridges 
scarcely rising above its surface. Far as the eye could reach the 
horizon fell away into space, marked by a slender line, slim as 
the edge of a sabre, — like as in summer seas a thread of light 
parts this earth from the heaven it meets. 

The Provengal clasped the trunk of a palm-tree as if it were 
the body of a friend. Sheltered from the sun by its straight 
and slender shadow, he wept; and presently sitting down he 
remained motionless, contemplating with awful dread the implac- 
able Nature stretched out before him. He cried aloud, as if to 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



U03 



tempt the solitude to answer him. His voice, lost in the hollows 
of the hillock, sounded afar with a thin resonance that returned 
no echo; the echo came from the soldier's heart. He was twenty- 
two years old, and he loaded his carbine. 

<* Time enough ! " he muttered, as he put the liberating weapon 
on the sand beneath him. 

Gazing by turns at the burnished blackness of the sand and 
the blue expanse of the sky, the soldier dreamed of France. 
He smelt in fancy the gutters of Paris; he remembered the towns 
through which h-i had passed, the faces of his comrades, and the 
most trifling incidents of his life. His southern imagination saw 
the pebbles of his own Provence in the undulating play of the 
heated air, as it seemed to roughen the far-reaching surface of 
the desert. Dreading the dangers of this cruel mirage, he went 
down the little hill on the side opposite to that by which he 
had gone up the night before. His joy was great when he 
discovered a natural grotto, formed by the immense blocks of 
granite which made a foundation for the rising ground. The 
remnants of a mat showed that the place had once been inhab- 
ited, and close to the entrance were a few palm-trees loaded 
with fruit. The instinct which binds men to life woke in his 
heart. He now hoped to live until some Maugrabin should pass 
that way; possibly he might even hear the roar of cannon, for 
Bonaparte was at that time overrunning Egypt. Encouraged by 
these thoughts, the Frenchman shook down a cluster of the ripe 
fruit under the weight of which the palms were bending; and as 
he tasted this unhoped-for manna, he thanked the former inhab- 
itant of the grotto for the cultivation of the trees, which the rich 
and luscious flesh of the fruit amply attested. Like a true Pro- 
vencal, he passed from the gloom of despair to a joy that was 
half insane. He ran back to the top of the hill, and busied 
himself for the rest of the day in cutting down one of the sterile 
trees which had been his shelter the night before. 

Some vague recollection made him think of the wild beasts 
of the desert, and foreseeing that they would come to drink at a 
spring which bubbled through the sand at the foot of the rock, 
he resolved to protect his hermitage by felling a tree across the 
entrance. Notwithstanding his eagerness, and the strength which 
the fear of being attacked while asleep gave to his muscles, he 
was unable to cut the palm-tree in pieces during the day; but 
he succeeded in bringing it down. Towards evening the king 



I404 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



of the desert fell; and the noise of his fall, echoing far, was 
like a moan from the breast of Solitude. The soldier shuddered, 
as though he had heard a voice predicting evil. But, like an 
heir who does not long mourn a parent, he stripped from the 
beautiful tree the arching green fronds — its poetical adorn- 
ment — and made a bed of them in his refuge. Then, tired 
with his work and by the heat of the day, he fell asleep beneath 
the red vault of the grotto. 

In the middle of the night his sleep was broken by a strange 
noise. He sat up; the deep silence that reigned everywhere 
enabled him to hear the alternating rhythm of a respiration 
whose savage vigor could not belong to a human being. A ter- 
rible fear, increased by the darkness, by the silence, by the 
rush of his waking fancies, numbed his heart. He felt the con- 
traction of his hair, which rose on end as his eyes, dilating to 
their full strength, beheld through the darkness two faint amber 
lights. At first he thought them an optical delusion; but by 
degrees the clearness of the night enabled him to distinguish 
objects in the grotto, and he saw, within two feet of him, an 
enormous animal lying at rest. 

Was it a lion ? Was it a tiger ? Was it a crocodile ? The 
Provengal had not enough education to know in what sub-species 
he ought to class the intruder; but his terror was all the greater 
because his ignorance made it vague. He endured the cruel 
trial of listening, of striving to catch the peculiarties of this 
breathing without losing one of its inflections, and without daring 
to make the slightest movement. A strong odor, like that 
exhaled by foxes, only far more pungent and penetrating, filled 
the grotto. When the soldier had tasted it, so to speak, by the 
nose, his fear became terror; he could no longer doubt the 
nati:re of the terrible companion whose royal lair he had taken 
for a bivouac. Before long, the reflection of the moon, as it 
sank to the horizon, lighted up the den and gleamed upon the 
shining, spotted skin of a panther. 

The lion of Egypt lay asleep, curled up like a dog, the peace- 
able possessor of a kennel at the gate of a mansion; its eyes, 
which had opened for a moment, were now closed; its head was 
turned towards the Frenchman. A hundred conflicting thoughts 
rushed through the mind of the panther's prisoner. Should he 
kill it with a shot from his mvi.sket ? But ere the thought was 
formed, he saw there was no room to take aim; the muzzle 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1405 



would have gone beyond the animal. Suppose he were to wake 
it ? The fear kept him motionless. As he heard the beating of 
his heart through the dead silence, he cursed the strong pulsa- 
tions of his vigorous blood, lest they should distiirb the sleep 
which gave him time to think and plan for safety. Twice he 
put his hand on his scimitar, with the idea of striking oflf the 
head of his enemy; but the difficulty of cutting through the 
close-haired skin made him renounce the bold attempt. Suppose 
he missed his aim ? It would, he knew, be certain death. He 
preferred the chances of a struggle, and resolved to await the 
dawn. It was not long in coming. As daylight broke, the 
Frenchman was able to examine the animal. Its muzzle was 
stained with blood. "It has eaten a good meal," thought he, 
not caring whether the feast were human flesh or not ; " it will 
not be hungrj' when it wakes." 

It was a female. The fur on the belly and on the thighs was 
of sparkling whiteness. Several little spots like velvet made pretty 
bracelets round her paws. The muscular tail was also white, 
but it terminated with black rings. The fur of the back, yel- 
low as dead gold and very soft and glossy, bore the characteristic 
spots, shaded like a full-blown rose, which distinguish the pan- 
ther from all other species of fclis. This terrible hostess lay 
tranquilly snoring, in an attitude as easy and graceful as that of 
a cat on the cushions of an ottoman. Her bloody paws, sinewy 
and well-armed, were stretched beyond her head, which lay 
upon them; and from her muzzle projected a few straight hairs 
called whiskers, which shimmered in the early light like silver 
wires. 

If he had seen her lying thus imprisoned in a cage, the Pro- 
vencal would have admired the creature's grace, and the strong 
contrasts of vivid color which gave to her robe an imperial splen- 
dor; but as it was, his sight was jaundiced by sinister forebod- 
ings. The presence of the panther, though she was still asleep, 
had the same effect upon his mind as the magnetic eyes of a 
snake produce, we are told, upon the nightingale. The soldier's 
courage oozed away in presence of this silent peril, though he 
was a man who gathered nerve before the mouths of cannon 
belching grape-shot. And yet, ere long, a bold thought entered 
his mind, and checked the cold sweat which was rolling from 
his brow. Roused to action, as some men are when, driven face 
to face with death, they defy it and offer themselves to their 



1406 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



doom, he saw a tragedy before him, and he resolved to play his 
part with honor to the last. 

*' Yesterday, " he said, " the Arabs might have killed me. " 

Regarding himself as dead, he waited bravely, but with 
anxious curiosity, for the waking of his enemy. When the sun 
rose, the panther suddenly opened her eyes; then she stretched 
her paws violently, as if to unlimber them from the cramp of 
their position. Presently she yawned and showed the frightful 
armament of her teeth, and her cloven tongue, rough as a grater. 

"She is like a dainty woman," thought the Frenchman, watch- 
ing her as she rolled and turned on her side with an easy and 
coquettish movement. She licked the blood from her paws, and 
rubbed her head with a reiterated movement full of grace. 

" Well done ! dress yourself prettily, my little woman, " said 
the Frenchman, who recovered his gayety as soon as he had 
recovered his courage. " We are going to bid each other good- 
morning ; '* and he felt for the short poniard which he had taken 
from the Maugrabins. 

At this instant the panther turned her head towards the 
Frenchman and looked at him fixedly, without moving. The 
rigidity of her metallic eyes and their insupportable clearness 
made the Provencal shudder. The beast moved towards him; he 
looked at her caressingly, with a soothing glance by which he 
hoped to magnetize her. He let her come quite close to him 
before he stirred ; then with a touch as gentle and loving as he 
might have used to a pretty woman, he slid his hand along her 
spine from the head to the flanks, scratching with his nails the 
flexible vertebrae which divide the yellow back of a panther. 
The creature drew tip her tail voluptuously, her eyes softened, 
and when for the third time the Frenchman bestowed this self- 
interested caress, she gave vent to a purr like that with which a 
cat expresses pleasure : but it issued from a throat so deep and 
powerful that the sound echoed through the grotto like the last 
chords of an organ rolling along the roof of a church. The Pro- 
vengal, perceiving the value of his caresses, redoubled them 
until they had completely soothed and lulled the imperious 
courtesan. 

When he felt that he had subdued the ferocity of his capri- 
cious companion, whose hunger had so fortunately been appeased 
the night before, he rose to leave the grotto. The panther let 
hiai go; but as soom ws k« reached tlie top of the little hill ste 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1407 



bounded after him with the lightness of a bird hopping from 
branch to branch, and rubbed against his legs, arching her back 
with the gesture of a domestic cat. Then looking at her guest 
with an eye that was growing less inflexible, she uttered the 
savage crj^ which naturalists liken to the noise of a saw. 

" My lady is exacting, " cried the Frenchman, smiling. He 
began to play with her ears and stroke her belly, and at last he 
scratched her head firmly with his nails. Encouraged by success, 
he tickled her skull with the point of his dagger, looking for the 
right spot where to stab her; but the hardness of the bone made 
him pause, dreading failure. 

The sultana of the desert acknowledged the talents of her 
slave by lifting her head and swaying her neck to his caresses, 
betraying satisfaction by the tranquillity of her relaxed attitude. 
The Frenchman suddenly perceived that he could assassinate the 
fierce princess at a blow, if he struck her in the throat; and he 
had raised the weapon, when the panther, surfeited perhaps with 
his caresses, threw herself gracefully at his feet, glancing up at 
him with a look in which, despite her natural ferocity, a flicker 
of kindness could be seen. The poor Provengal, frustrated for 
the moment, ate his dates as he leaned against a palm-tree, cast- 
ing from time to time an interrogating eye across the desert in 
the hope" of discerning rescue from afar, and then lowering it 
upon his terrible companion, to watch the chances of her uncer- 
tain clemency. Each time that he threw away a date-stone the 
panther eyed the spot where it fell with an expression of keen 
distrust; and she examined the Frenchman with what might be 
called commercial prudence. The examination, however, seemed 
favorable, for when the man had finished his meagre meal she 
licked his shoes and wiped off the dust, which was caked into 
the folds of the leather, with her rough and powerful tongue. 

" How will it be when she is hungry ? " thought the Proven- 
cal. In spite of the shudder which this reflection cost him, his 
attention was attracted by the symmetrical proportions of the 
animal, and he began to measure them with his eye. She was 
three feet in height to the shoulder, and four feet long, not in- 
cluding the tail. That powerful weapon, which was round as a 
club, measured three feet. The head, as large as that of a lion- 
ess, was remarkable for an expression of crafty intelligence; the 
cold cruelty of a tiger was its ruling trait, and yet it bore a 
vague resemblance to the face of an artful woman. As the 



1408 HONORE DE BALZAC 

soldier watched her, the countenance of this solitary queen shone 
with savage gayety like that of Nero in his cups: she had slaked 
her thirst for blood, and now wished for play. The Frenchman 
tried to come and go, and accustomed her to his movements. 
The panther left him free, as if contented to follow him with 
her eyes, seeming, however, less like a faithful dog watching his 
master's movements with affection, than a huge Angora cat un- 
easy and suspicious of them. A few steps brought him to the 
spring, where he saw the carcass of his horse, which the panther 
had evidently carried there. Only two-thirds was eaten. The 
sight reassured the Frenchman; for it explained the absence of 
his terrible companion and the forbearance which she had shown 
to him while asleep. 

This first good luck encouraged the reckless soldier as he 
thought of the future. The wild idea of making a home with 
the panther until some chance of escape occurred entered his 
mind, and he resolved to try every means of taming her and 
of turning her good-will to account. With these thoughts he 
returned to her side, and noticed joyfully that she moved her tail 
with an almost imperceptible motion. He sat down beside her 
fearlessly, and they began to play with each other. He held 
her paws and her muzzle, twisted her ears, threw her over on 
her back, and stroked her soft warm flanks. She allowed him 
to do so; and when he began to smooth the fur of her paws, 
she carefully drew in her murderous claws, which were sharp and 
curved like a Damascus blade. The Frenchman kept one hand 
on his dagger, again watching his opportunity to plunge it into 
the belly of the too-confiding beast; but the fear that she might 
strangle him in her last convulsions once more stayed his hand. 
Moreover, he felt in his heart a foreboding of a remorse which 
warned him not to destroy a hitherto inoffensive creature. He 
even fancied that he had found a friend in the limitless desert. 
His mind turned back, involuntarily, to his first mistress, whom 
he had named in derision "Mignonne,* because her jealousy was 
so furious that throughout the whole period of their intercourse 
he lived in dread of the knife with which she threatened him. 
This recollection of his youth suggested the idea of teaching the 
young panther, whose soft agility and grace he now admired 
with less terror, to answer to the caressing name. Towards 
evening he had grown so familiar with his perilous position that 
he was half in love with its dangers, and his companion was so 



HONORfi DE BALZAC 



1409 



far tamed that she had caught the habit of turning to him when 
he called, in falsetto tones, " Mignonne ! " 

As the sun went down Mignonne uttered at intervals a pro- 
longed, deep, melancholy cry. 

" She is well brought up, " thought the gay soldier. " She 
says her prayers. " But the jest only came into his mind as he 
watched the peaceful attitude of his comrade. 

"Come, my pretty blonde, I will let you go to bed first," 
he said, relying on the activity of his legs to get away as soon 
as she fell asleep, and trusting to find some other resting-place 
for the night. He waited anxiously for the right moment, and 
when it came he started vigorously in the direction of the Nile. 
But he had scarcely marched for half an hour through the sand 
before he heard the panther bounding after him, giving at inter- 
vals the saw-like cr)^ which was more terrible to hear than the 
thud of her bounds. 

*' Well, well ! " he cried, " she must have fallen in love with 
me! Perhaps she has never met any one else. It is flattering 
to be her first love." 

So thinking, he fell into one of the treacherous quicksands 
which deceive the inexperienced traveler in the desert, and from 
which there is seldom any escape. He felt he was sinking, and 
he uttered a cry of despair. The panther seized him by the 
collar with her teeth, and sprang vigorously backward, drawing 
him, like magic, from the sucking sand. 

'* Ah, Mignonne ! '* cried the soldier, kissing her with enthu- 
siasm, "we belong to each other now, — for life, for death! But 
play me no tricks," he added, as he turned back the way he 
came. 

From that moment the desert was, as it were, peopled for 
him. It held a being to whom he could talk, and whose ferocity 
was now lulled into gentleness, although he could scarcely ex- 
plain to himself the reasons for this extraordinary friendship. 
His anxiety to keep awake and on his guard succumbed to ex- 
cessive weariness both of body and mind, and throwing himself 
down on the floor of the grotto he slept soundly. At his 
waking Mignonne was gone. He mounted the little hill to 
scan the horizon, and perceived her in the far distance return- 
ing with the long bounds peculiar to these animals, who are 
prevented from running by the extreme flexibility of their spinal 
column. 

ni — 89 



1410 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



Mignonne came home with bloody jaws, and received the 
tribute of caresses which her slave hastened to pay, all the while 
manifesting her pleasure by reiterated purring. 

Her eyes, now soft and gentle, rested kindly on the Proven- 
cal, who spoke to her lovingly as he would to a domestic animal. 

"Ah! Mademoiselle, — for you are an honest girl, are you not? 
You like to be petted, don't you ? Are you not ashamed of 
yourself ? You have been eating a Maugrabin. Well, well ! they 
are animals like the rest of you. But you are not to craunch up 
a Frenchman; remember that! If you do, I will not love you.** 

She played like a young dog with her master, and let him 
roll her over and pat and stroke her, and sometimes she would 
coax him to play by laying a paw upon his knee with a pretty 
soliciting gesture. 

Several days passed rapidly. This strange companionship 
revealed to the Provencal the sublime beauties of the desert. 
The alternations of hope and fear, the sufficiency of food, the 
presence of a creature who occupied his thoughts, — all this kept 
his mind alert, yet free: it was a life full of strange contrasts. 
Solitude revealed to him her secrets, and wrapped him with her 
charm. In the rising and the setting of the sun he saw splendors 
unknown to the world of men. He quivered as he listened to 
the soft whirring of the wings of a bird, — rare visitant! — or 
watched the blending of the fleeting clouds, — those changeful 
and many-tinted voyagers. In the waking hours of the night 
he studied the play of the moon upon the sandy ocean, where 
the strong simoom had rippled the surface into waves and ever- 
varying undulations. He lived in the Eastern day; he worshiped 
its marvelous glory. He rejoiced in the grandeur of the storms 
when they rolled across the vast plain, and tossed the sand 
upward till it looked like a dry red fog or a solid death-dealing 
vapor; and as the night came on he welcomed it with ecstasy, 
grateful for the blessed coolness of the light of the stars. His 
ears listened to the :nusic of the skies. Solitude taught him the 
treasures of meditation. He spent hours in recalling trifles, and 
in comparing his past life with the weird present. 

He grew fondly attached to his panther; for he was a man 
who needed an affection. Whether it were that his own will, 
magnetically strong, had modified the nature of his savage princess, 
or that the wars then raging in the desert had provided her with 
an ample supply of food, it is certain that she showed no sign of 



HONORfi DE BALZAC I4I 1 

attacking him, and became so tame that he soon felt no fear of 
her. He spent much of his time in sleeping; though with his 
mind awake, like a spider in its web, lest he should miss some 
deliverance that might chance to cross the sandy sphere marked 
out by the horizon. He had made his shirt into a banner and 
tied it to the top of a palm-tree which he had stripped of its 
leafage. Taking counsel of necessity, he kept the flag extended 
by fastening the comers with twigs and wedges; for the fitful 
wind might have failed to wave it at the moment when the 
longed-for succor came in sight. 

Nevertheless, there were long hours of gloom when hope for- 
sook him; and then he played with his panther. He learned to 
know the different inflections of her voice and the meanings of 
her expressive glance; he studied the variegation of the spots 
which shaded the dead gold of her robe. Mignonne no longer 
growled when he caught the tuft of her dangerous tail and 
counted the black and white rings which glittered in the sunlight 
like a cluster of precious stones. He delighted in the soft lines 
of her lithe body, the whiteness of her belly, the grace of her 
charming head: but above all he loved to watch her as she 
gamboled at play. The agility and youthfulness of her move- 
ments were a constantly fresh surprise to him. He admired the 
suppleness of the flexible body as she bounded, crept, and glided, 
or clung to the trunk of palm-trees, or rolled over and over, 
crouching sometimes to the ground, and gathering herself together 
as she made ready for her vigorous spring. Yet, however vig- 
orous the bound, however slippery the granite block on which 
she landed, she would stop short, motionless, at the one word 
" Mignonne. " 

One day, under a dazzling sun, a large bird hovered in the 
sky. The Provencal left his panther to watch the new guest. 
After a moment's pause the neglected sultana uttered a low growl. 

**The devil take me! I believe she is jealous!" exclaimed the 
soldier, observ-ing the rigid look which once more appeared in her 
metallic eyes. " The soul of Sophronie has got into her body 1 " 

The eagle disappeared in ether, and the Frenchman, recalled 
by the panther's displeasure, admired afresh her rounded flanks 
and the perfect grace of her attitude. She was as pretty as a 
woman. The tilonde brightness of her robe shaded, with delicate 
gradations, to the dead-white tones of her furry thighs; the vivid 
sunshine brought out the brilliancy of this living gold and its 



1412 HONORE DE BALZAC 

variegated brown spots with indescribable lustre. The panther 
and the Provengal gazed at each other with human comprehen- 
sion. She trembled with delight — the coquettish creature! — as 
she felt the nails of her friend scratching the strong bones of her 
skull. Her eyes glittered like flashes of lightning, and then she 
closed them tightly. 

" She has a soul ! *' cried the soldier, watching the tranquil repose 
of this sovereign of the desert, golden as the sands, white as their 
pulsing light, solitary and burning as they. 



"Well," she said, "I have read your defense of the beasts. But 
tell me what was the end of this friendship between two beings 
so formed to understand each other ? " 

"Ah, exactly,** I replied. "It ended as all great passions end, 
— by a misunderstanding. Both sides imagine treachery, pride 
prevents an explanation, and the rupture comes about through 
obstinacy. '* 

" Yes, " she said, " and sometimes a word, a look, an exclama- 
tion suffices. But tell me the end of the story." 

" That is difficult, ** I answered. " But I will give it to you in 
the words of the old veteran, as he finished the bottle of cham- 
pagne and exclaimed :^ — 

" * I don't know how I could have hurt her, but she suddenly 
turned upon me as if in fury, and seized my thigh with her 
sharp teeth; and yet (as I afterwards remembered) not cruelly. 
I thought she meant to devour mc, and I plunged my dagger 
into her throat. She rolled over with a cry that froze my soul; 
she looked at me in her death struggle, but without anger. 
I would have given all the world — my cross, which I had 
not then gained, all, everything — -to have brought her back 
to life. It was as if I had mi:rdered a friend, a human being. 
When the soldiers who saw my flag came to my rescue they 
found me weeping. Monsieur,* he resumed, after a moment's 
silence, * I went through the wars in Germany, Spain, Russia, 
France; I have marched my carcass well-nigh over all the world; 
but I have seen nothing comparable to the desert. Ah, it is 
grand ! glorious ! * 

" * What were your feelings there ? * I asked. 

" * They cannot be told, young man. Besides, I do not always 
regret my panther and my palm-tree oasis: I must be very sad 



HONORI? DE BALZAC 1413 

tor that. But I will tell you this: in the desert there is all — 
and yet nothing.' 

« < Stay ! — explain that. ' 

"*Well, then,' he said, with a gesture of impatience, 'God is 
there, and man is not.*" 



THE NAPOLEON OF THE PEOPLE 
From < The Country Doctor > 

« r-pHE genius of a Colbert or of a Sully avails nothing " [said 
I Benassis] " unless it is supported by the energetic will that 
makes a Napoleon or a Cromwell. A great minister, gen- 
tlemen, is a great thought written at large over all the years of 
a century of prosperity and splendor for which he has prepared 
the way. Steadfast perseverance is the virtue of which he stands 
most in need; and in all human affairs does not steadfast perse- 
verance indicate a .power of the very highest order ? We have 
had for some time past too many men who think only of the 
ministry instead of the nation, so that we cannot but admire the 
real statesman as the vastest human Poetry. Ever to look beyond 
the present moment, to foresee the ways of Destiny, to care so 
little for power that he only retains it because he is conscious 
of his usefulness, while he does not overestimate his strength; 
ever to lay aside all personal feeling and low ambitions, so that 
he may always be master of his faculties, and foresee, will, and 
act without ceasing; to compel himself to be just and impartial, 
to keep order on a large scale, to silence his heart that he may 
be guided by his intellect alone, to be neither apprehensive nor 
sanguine, neither suspicious nor confiding, neither grateful nor 
ungrateful, never to be unprepared for an event nor taken at 
unawares by an idea: to live, in fact, with the requirements of 
the masses ever in his mind, to spread the protecting wings 
of his thought above them, to sway them by the thunder of his 
voice and the keenness of his glance; seeing all the while not 
the details of affairs, but the great issues at stake, — is not that 
to be something more than a mere man ? Therefore the names 
of the great and noble fathers of nations cannot but be house- 
hold words forever." 

There was silence for a moment, during which the guests 
looked at one another. 



1414 HONORE DE BALZAC 

^* Gentlemen, you have not said a word about the army ! '* cried 
Genestas. "A military organization seems to me to be the real 
type on which all good civil society should be modeled; the Sword 
is the guardian of a nation." 

The justice of the peace laughed softly. 

* Captain," he said, **an old lawyer once said that empires 
began with the sword and ended with the desk; we have reached 
the desk stage by this time." 

"And now that we have settled the fate of the world, gentle- 
men, let us change the subject. Come, captain, a glass of Her- 
mitage," cried the doctor laughing. 

"Let us go to my barn," continued the doctor. . . , And 
there. Captain Bluteau, you will hear about Napoleon. We shall 
find a few old cronies who will set Goguelat, the postman, to 
declaiming about the people's god. Nicolle, my stableman, was 
to set up a ladder by which we can get into the hay-loft through 
a window, and find a place where we can see and hear all that 
goes on. A veilUe is worth the trouble, believe me. Come, it 
isn't the first time I've hidden in the hay to hear the tale of a 
soldier or some peasant yarn. But we must hide: if these poor 
people see a stranger they are constrained at once, and are no 
longer their natural selves." 

"Eh! my dear host," said Genestas, "haven't I often pre- 
tended to sleep', that I might listen to my troopers round a biv- 
ouac ? I never laughed more heartily in the Paris theatres than 
I did at an account of the retreat from Moscow, told in fun, by 
an old sergeant to a lot of recruits who were afraid of war. He 
declared the French army slept in sheets, and drank its wine 
well-iced; that the dead stood still in the roads; Russia was 
white, they curried the horses with their teeth; those who liked 
to skate had lots of fun, and those who fancied frozen puddings 
ate their fill; the women were usually cold, and the only thing 
that was really disagreeable was the want of hot water to shave 
with: in short, he recounted such absurdities that an old quarter- 
master, who had had his nose frozen off and was known by the 
name Nez-restant, laughed himself." 

"Hush," said Benassis, "here we are: I'll go first; follow me." 

The pair mounted the ladder and crouched in the hay, 
without being seen or heard by the people below, and placed 
themselves at ease, so that they could see and hear all that 
went on. The women were sitting in groups round the three or 



HONORS DE BALZAC 14 15 

four candles that stood on the tables. Some were sewing, some 
knittuag; several sat idle, their necks stretched out and their 
heads and eyes turned to an old peasant who was telling a story. 
Most of the men were standing, or lying on bales of hay. 
These groups, all perfectly silent, were scarcely visible in the 
flickering glimmer of the tallow-candles encircled by glass bowls 
full of water, which concentrated the light in rays upon the 
women at work about the tables. The size of the barn, whose 
roof was dark and sombre, still further obscured the ra3's of 
light, which touched the heads with unequal color, and brought 
out picturesque eft'ects of light and shade. Here, the brown 
forehead and the clear eyes of an eager little peasant-girl shone 
forth; there, the rough brows of a few old men were sharply 
defined by a luminous band, which made fantastic shapes of 
their worn and discolored garments. These various listeners, so 
diverse in their attitudes, all expressed on their motionless feat- 
ures the absolute abandonment of their intelligence to the narra- 
tor. It was a curious picture, illustrating the enormous influence 
exercised over every class of mind by poetry. In exacting from 
a story-teller the marveloiis that must still be simple, or the 
impossible that is almost believable, the peasant proves himself 
to be a true lover of the purest poetry. 

* Come, Monsieur Goguelat, " said the game-keeper, " tell us 
about the Emperor." 

"The evening is half over," said the postman, "and I don't 
like to shorten the victories." 

"Never mind; go on! You've told them so many times we 
know them all by heart; but it is always a pleasure to hear 
them again." 

" Yes ! tell us about the Emperor, " cried many voices together. 

"Since you wish it," replied Goguelat. "But you'll see it isn't 
worth much when I have to tell it on the double-quick, charge! 
I'd rather tell about a battle. Shall I tell about Champ- Aubert, 
where we used up all the cartridges and spitted the enemy on 
our bayonets ? " 

" No ! no ! the Emperor ! the Emperor ! " 

The veteran rose from his bale of hay and cast upon the 
assemblage that black look laden with miseries, emergencies, and 
sufferings, which distinguishes the faces of old soldiers. He seized 
his jacket by the two front flaps, raised them as if about to pack 
the knapsack which formerly held his clothes, his shoes, and all 



I4l6 HONORE DE BALZAC 

his fortune; then he threw the weight of his body on his left 
leg, advanced the right, and yielded with a good grace to the 
demands of the company. After pushing his gray hair to one 
side to show his forehead, he raised his head towards heaven 
that he might, as it were, put himself on the level of the gigantic 
history he was about to relate. 

" You see, my friends. Napoleon was bom in Corsica, a French 
island, warmed by the sun of Italy, where it is like a furnace, 
and where the people kill each other, from father to son, all 
about nothing: that's a way they have. To begin with the mar- 
vel of the thing, — his mother, who was the handsomest woman 
of her time, and a knowing one, bethought herself of dedicating 
him to God, so that he might escape the dangers of his child- 
hood and future life; for she had dreamed that the world was 
set on fire the day he was born. And indeed it was a prophecy! 
So she asked God to protect him, on condition that Napoleon 
should restore His holy religion,' which was then cast to the 
ground. Well, that was agreed upon, and we shall see what 
came of it. 

** Follow me closely, and tell me if what you hear is in the 
nature of man. 

" Sure and certain it is that none but a man who conceived 
the idea of making a compact with God could have passed 
unhurt through the enemy's lines, through cannon-balls, and dis- 
charges of grape-shot that swept the rest c5f us off like flies, and 
always respected his head. I had a proof of that — I myself — 
at Eylaii. I see him now, as he rode up a height, took his 
field glass, looked at the battle, and said, *A11 goes well.* One 
of those plumed busy-bodies, who plagued him considerably and 
followed him everywhere, even to his meals, so they said, 
thought to play the wag, and took the Emperor's place as he 
rode away. Ho! in a twinkling, head and plume were off! You 
must understand that Napoleon had promised to keep the secret 
of his compact all to. himself. That's why all those who followed 
him, even his nearest friends, fell like nuts, — Duroc, Bessieres, 
Lannes, — all strong as steel bars, though he could bend them as 
he pleased. Besides, — to prove he was the child of God, and 
made to be the father of soldiers, — was he ever known to be 
lieutenant or captain? no, no; commander-in-chief from the 
start. He didn't look to be more than twenty-four j^ears of age 
when he was an old general at the taking of Toulon, where he 



HONORE DE BALZAC 1417 

first began to show the others tliat they knew nothing about 
manoenvring cannon. 

" After that, down came our shp of a general to command 
the grand army of Italy, which hadn't bread nor munitions, nor 
shoes, nor coats, — a poor army, as naked as a worm. 'My 
friends,* said he, 'here we are together. Get it into your pates 
that fifteen days from now you will be conquerors, — new clothes, 
good gaiters, famous shoes, and every man with a great-coat; 
but, my children, to get these things you must march to Milan 
where they are.* And we marched. France, crushed as flat as 
a bedbug, straightened up. We were thirty thousand barefeet 
against eighty thousand Austrian bullies, all fine men, well set up. 
I see 'em now! But Napoleon^ he was then only Bonaparte — 
he knew how to put the courage into us! We marched by night, 
and we marched by day; we slapped their faces at Montenotte, 
we thrashed 'em at Rivoli, Lodi, Arcole, Millcsimo, and we 
never let 'em up. A soldier gets the taste of conquest. So 
Napoleon whirled round those Austrian generals, who didn't 
know' where to poke themselves to get out of his way, and he 
pelted 'em well, — nipped off ten thousand men at a blow some- 
times, by getting round them with fifteen hundred Frenchmen, 
and then he gleaned as he pleased. He took their cannon, their 
supplies, their money, their munitions, in short, all they had 
that was good to take. He fought them and beat them on the 
mountains, he drove them into the rivers and seas, he bit 'em 
in the air, he devoured 'em on the ground, and he lashed 'em 
everywhere. Hey! the grand army feathered itself well; for, 
d'ye see, the Emperor, who was also a wit, called up the inhab- 
itants and told them he was there to deliver them. So after 
that the natives lodged and cherished us; the women too, and 
very judicious they were. Now here's the end of it. In Ven- 
tose, '96, — in those times that was the month of March of to-day, 
— we lay cuddled in a corner of Savoy with the marmots; and 
yet, before that campaign was over, we were masters of Italy, 
just as Napoleon had predicted; and by the following March — 
in a single year and two campaigns — he had brought us within 
sight of Vienna. 'Twas a clean sweep. We devoured their 
armies, one after the other, and made an end of four Austrian 
generals. One old fellow, with white hair, was roasted like a rat 
in the straw at Mantua. Kings begged for mercy on their 
knees! Peace was won. 



I4l8 HONORS DE BALZAC 

" Could a man have done that ? No ; God helped him, to a 
certainty ! 

** He divided himself up like the loaves in the Gospel, com- 
manded the battle by day, planned it by night; going and com- 
ing, for the sentinels saw him, — never eating, never sleeping. 
So, seeing these prodigies, the soldiers adopted him for their 
father. Forward, march! Then those others, the rulers in Paris, 
seeing this, said to themselves: — * Here's a bold one that seems 
to get his orders from the skies; he's likely to put his paw on 
France. We must let him loose on Asia; we will send him to 
America, perhaps that will satisfy him.* But 'twas written 
above for him, as it was for Jesus Christ. The command went 
forth that he should go to Egypt. See again his resemblance 
to the Son of God. But that's not all. He called together his 
best veterans, his fire-eaters, the ones he had particularly put 
the devil into, and he said to them like this : — '■ My friends, 
they have given us Egypt to chew up, just to keep us busy, but 
we'll swallow it whole in a couple of campaigns, as we did Italy. 
The common soldiers shall be princes and have the land for 
their own. Forward, march ! * * Forward, march ! * cried the 
sergeants, and there we were at Toulon, road to Egy^pt. At 
that time the English had all their ships in the sea; but when 
we embarked Napoleon said, * They won't see us. It is just as 
well that you should know from this time forth that your gen- 
eral has got his star in the sky, which guides and protects us.* 
What was said was done. Passing over the sea, we took Malta 
like an orange, just to quench his thirst for victor)^; for he was 
a man who couldn't live and do nothing. 

* So here we are in Egypt. Good. Once here, other orders. 
The Egyptians, d'ye see, are men who, ever since the earth 
was, have had giants for sovereigns, and armies as numerous 
as ants; for, you must understand, that's the land of genii and 
crocodiles, where they've built pyramids as big as our mountains, 
and buried their kings under them to keep them fresh, — an idea 
that pleased 'em mightily. So then, after we disembarked, the 
Little Corporal said to us, * My children, the country you are 
going to conquer has a lot of gods that you must respect; 
because Frenchmen ought to be friends with everybody, and 
fight the nations without vexing the inhabitants. Get it into 
your skulls that you are not to touch anything at first, for it is 
all going to be yours soon. Forward, march ! * So far, so good. 



HONORfi DE BALZAC 1419 

But all those people of Africa, to whom Napoleon was foretold 
under the name of Kebir-Bonaberdis, — a word of their lingo 
that means *the sultan fires,' — were afraid as the devil of him. 
So the Grand Turk, and Asia, and Africa, had recourse to 
magic. They sent us a demon, named the Mahdi, supposed to 
have descended from heaven on a white horse, which, like its 
master, was bullet-proof; and both of them lived on air, without 
food to support them. There are some that say they saw them; 
but I can't give you any reasons to make you certain about 
that. The rulers of Arabia and the Mamelukes tried to make 
their troopers believe that the Mahdi could keep them from 
perishing in battle; and they pretended he was an angel sent 
from heaven to fight Napoleon and get back Solomon's seal. 
Solomon's seal was part of their paraphernalia which they vowed 
our General had stolen. You must understand that we'd given 
'em a good many wry faces, in spite of what he had said to us. 

** Now, tell me how they knew that Napoleon had a pact with 
God ? Was that natural, d'ye think ? 

" They held to it in their minds that Napoleon commanded 
the genii, and could pass hither and thither in the twinkling of 
an eye, like a bird. The fact is, he was everywhere. At last, it 
came to his carrying off a queen, beautiful as the dawn, for 
whom he had offered all his treasure, and diamonds as big as 
pigeons' eggs, — a bargain which the Mameluke to whom she par- 
ticularly belonged positively refused, although he had several 
others. Such matters, when they come to that pass, can't be 
settled without a great many battles; and, indeed, there was no 
scarcity of battles; there was fighting enough to please every- 
body. We were in line at Alexandria, at Gizeh, and before the 
Pyramids; we marched in the sun and through the sand, where 
some, who had the dazzles, saw water that they couldn't drink, 
and shade where their flesh was roasted. But we made short 
work of the Mamelukes; and everybody else yielded at the voice 
of Napoleon, who took possession of Upper and Lower Eg^'pt, 
Arabia, and even the capitals of kingdoms that were no more, 
where there were thousand of statues and all the plagues of 
Egypt, more particularly lizards, — a mammoth of a country 
where everybody could take his acres of land for as little as he 
pleased. Well, while Napoleon was busy with his affairs inland, 
— where he had it in his head to do fine things, — the English 
burned his fleet at Aboukir; for they were always looking about 



I420 HONORE DE BALZAC 

them to annoy us. But Napoleon, who had the respect of the 
East and of the West, whom the Pope called his son, and the 
cousin of Mohammed called * his dear father, * resolved to punish 
England, and get hold of India in exchange for his fleet. He 
was just about to take us across the Red Sea into Asia, a coun- 
try where there are diamonds and gold to pay the soldiers and 
palaces for bivouacs, when the Mahdi made a treaty with the 
Plague, and sent it down to hinder our victories. Halt ! The 
army to a man defiled at that parade; and few there were who 
came back on their feet. Dying soldiers couldn't take Saint-Jean 
d'Acre, though they rushed at it three times with generous and 
martial obstinacy. The Plague was the strongest. No saying to 
that enemy, * My good friend. * Every soldier lay ill. Napoleon 
alone was fresh as a rose, and the whole army saw him drinking 
in pestilence without its doing him a bit of harm. 

** Ha ! my friends ! will you tell me that that's in the nature 
of a mere man ? 

" The Mamelukes knowing we were all in the ambulances, 
thought they could stop the way; but that sort of joke wouldn't 
do with Napoleon. So he said to his demons, his veterans, those 
that had the toughest hide, * Go, clear me the way. ' Jtmot, a 
sabre of the first cut, and his particular friend, took a thousand 
men, no more, and ripped up the army of the pacha who had 
had the presumption to put himself in the way. After that, we 
came back to headquarters at Cairo. Now, here's another side 
of the story. Napoleon absent, France was letting herself be 
ruined by the rulers in Paris, who kept back the pay of the 
soldiers of the other armies, and their clothing, and their rations; 
left them to die of htmger, and expected them to lay down the 
law to the universe without taking any trouble to help them. 
Idiots! who amused themselves by chattering, instead of putting 
their own hands in the dough. Well, that's how it happened 
that our armies were beaten, and the frontiers of France were 
encroached upon: The Man was not there. Now observe, I say 
man because that's what they called him ; but 'twas nonsense, 
for he had a star and all its belongings; it was we who were 
only men. He taught history to France after his famous battle 
of Aboukir, where, without losing more than three hundred men, 
and with a single division, he vanquished the grand army of the 
Turk, seventy-five thousand strong, and hustled more than half 
of it into the sea, r-r-rah ! 



HONORE DE BALZAC 142 1 

" That was his last thunder-clap in Egypt. He said to him- 
self, seeing the way things were going in Paris, ' I am the savior 
of France. I know it, and I must go.* But, understand me, the 
army didn't know he was going, or they'd have kept him by 
force and made him Emperor of the East. So now we were 
sad; for He was gone who was all our joy. He left the com- 
mand to Kleber, a big mastiff, who came off duty at Cairo, 
assassinated by an Egyptian, whom they piit to death by impaling 
him on a bayonet; that's the way they guillotine people down 
there. But it makes 'em suffer so much that a soldier had pity 
on the criminal and gave him his canteen; and then, as soon as 
the Egj^ptian had drunk his fill, he gave iip the ghost with all 
the pleasure in life. But that's a trifle we couldn't laugh at 
then. Napoleon embarked in a cockleshell, a little skiff" that 
was nothing at all, though 'twas called * Fortune * ; and in a 
twinkling, under the nose of England, who was blockading him 
with ships of the line, frigates, and anything that could hoist 
a sail, he crossed over, and there he was in France. For he 
always had the power, mind you, of crossing the seas at one 
straddle. 

" Was that a human man ? Bah ! 

" So, one minute he is at Frejus, the next in Paris. There, 
they all adore him; but he summons the government. *What 
have you done with my children, the soldiers ? * he says to the 
lawyers. * You're a mob of rascally scribblers; you are making 
France a mess of pottage, and snapping your fingers at what 
people think of you. It won't do; and I speak the opinion of 
ever}'body. * So, on that, they wanted to battle with him and kill 
him — click! he had 'em locked up in barracks, or flying out of 
windows, or drafted among his followers, where they were as 
mute as fishes, and as pliable as a quid of tobacco. After that 
stroke — consul! And then, as it was not for him to doubt the 
Supreme Being, he fulfilled his promise to the good God, who, you 
see, had kept His word to him. He gave Him back his churches, 
and re-established His religion; the bells rang for God and for 
him : and lo ! everybody was pleased : prinio, the priests, whom he 
saved from being harassed; seciaido, the bourgeois, who thought 
only of their trade, and no longer had to fear the rapiaimis 
of the law, which had got to be unji;st; tertio, the nobles, for he 
forbade they should be killed, as", unfortunately, the people had 
got the habit of doing. 



1422 HONORE DE BALZAC 

"But he still had the Enemy to wipe out; and he wasn't the 
man to go to sleep at a mess-table, because, d'ye see, his eye 
looked over the whole earth as if it were no bigger than a man's 
head. So then he appeared in Italy, like as though he had stuck 
his head through the window. One glance was enough. The 
Austrians were swallowed up at Marengo like so many gudgeons 
by a whale! Ouf! The French eagles sang their paeans so loud 
that all the world heard them — and it sufficed! *We won't play 
that game any more, * said the German. * Enough, enough ! * said 
all the rest. 

"To sum up: Europe backed down, England knocked under. 
General peace; and the kings and the people made believe kiss 
each other. That's the time when the Emperor invented the 
Legion of Honor — and a fine thing, too. * In France* — this 
is what he said at Boulogne before the whole army — 'every 
man is brave. So the citizen who does a fine action shall be 
sister to the soldier, and the soldier shall be his brother, and the 
two shall be one under the flag of honor.* 

" We, who were down in Egypt, now came home. All was 
changed! He left us general, and hey! in a twinkling we found 
him EMPEROR. France gave herself to him, like a fine girl to 
a lancer. When it was done — to the satisfaction of all, as you 
may say — a sacred ceremony took place, the like of which was 
never seen under the canopy of the skies. The Pope and the 
cardinals, in their red and gold vestments, crossed the Alps 
expressly to crown him before the army and the people, who 
clapped their hands. There is one thing that I should do very 
wrong not to tell you. In Egypt, in the desert close to Syria, 
the Red Man came to him on the Mount of Moses, and said, 
* All is well. ' Then, at Marengo, the night before the victory, 
the same Red Man appeared before him for the second time, 
standing erect and saying, *Thou shalt see the world at thy feet; 
thou shalt be Emperor of France, King of Italy, master of Hol- 
land, sovereign of Spain, Portugal, and the Illyrian provinces, 
protector of Germany, savior of Poland, first eagle of the Legion 
of Honor — all.* This Red Man, you understand, was his genius, 
his spirit, — a sort of satellite who served him, as some say, to 
communicate with his star. I never really believed that. But 
the Red Man himself is a true fact. Napoleon spoke of him, 
and said he came to him in troubled moments, and lived in the 
palace of the Tuileries under the roof. So, on the day of the 



HONORS DE BALZAC 1 4 23 

coronation, Napoleon saw him for the third time; and they were 
in consultation over many things. 

"After that, Napoleon went to Milan to be crowned king of 
Italy, and there the grand triumph of the soldier began. Every 
man who could write was made an officer. Down came pensions; 
it rained duchies; treasures poured in for the staff which didn't cost 
France a penny; and the Legion of Honor provided incomes for 
the private soldiers, — of which I receive mine to this day. So 
here were the armies maintained as never before on this earth 
But besides that, the Emperor, knowing that he was to be the 
emperor of the whole world, bethought him of the bourgeois, 
and to please them he built fairy monuments, after their own 
ideas, in places where you'd never think to find any. For 
instance, suppose you were coming back from Spain and going 
to Berlin — well, you'd find triumphal arches along the way, with 
common soldiers sculptured on the stone, every bit the same as 
generals. In two or three years, and without imposing taxes on 
any of you, Napoleon filled his vaults with gold, built palaces, 
made bridges, roads, scholars, fetes, laws, vessels, harbors, and 
spent millions upon millions, — such enormous sums that he 
could, so they tell me, have paved France from end to end with 
five-franc pieces, if he had had a mind to. 

*• Now, when he sat at ease on his throne, and was master of 
all, so that Europe waited his permission to do his bidding, he 
remembered his four brothers and his three sisters, and he said 
to us, as it might be in conversation, in an order of the day, 
* My children, is it right that the blood relations of your Emperor 
should be begging their bread ? No. I wish to see them in 
splendor like myself. It becomes, therefore, absolutely necessary 
to conquer a kingdom for each of them, — to the end that French- 
men may be masters over all lands, that the soldiers of the 
Guard shall make the whole earth tremble, that France may spit 
where she likes, and that all the nations shall say to her, as it 
is written on my copper coins, ^'- God protects you!^'*^ 'Agreed,' 
cried the army. * We'll go fish for thy kingdoms with our bay- 
onets. * Ha! there was no backing down, don't you see! If he 
had taken it into his head to conquer the moon, we should have 
made ready, packed knapsacks, and clambered up; happily, he 
didn't think of it. The kings of the countries, who liked their 
comfortable thrones, were naturally loathe to budge, and had to 
have their ears pulled ; so then — Forward, march ! We did 



f424 HONORE DE BALZAC 

march ; we got there ; and the earth once more trembled to its 
centre. Hey! the men and the shoes he used up in those days! 
The enemy dealt us such blows that none but the grand army 
could have stood the fatigue of it. But you are not ignorant 
that a Frenchman is born a philosopher, and knows that a little 
sooner, or a little later, he has got to die. So we were ready to 
die without a word, for we liked to see the Emperor doing that 
on the geographies." 

Here the narrator nimbly described a circle with his foot on 
the floor of the barn. 

" And Napoleon said, * There, that's to be a kingdom. * And 
a kingdom it was. Ha! the good times! The colonels were gen- 
erals; the generals, marshals; and the marshals, kings. There's 
one of 'em still on his throne, to prove it to Europe; but he's a 
Gascon and a traitor to France for keeping that crown; and he 
doesn't blush for shame as he ought to do, because crowns, don't 
you see, are made of gold. I who am speaking to you, I have 
seen, in Paris, eleven kings and a mob of princes surrounding 
Napoleon like the rays of the sun. You understand, of course, 
that every soldier had the chance to mount a throne, provided 
always he had the merit; so a corporal of the Guard was a sight 
to be looked at as he walked along, for each man had his share 
in the victory, and 'twas plainly set forth in the bulletin. What 
victories they were ! Austerlitz, where the army manoeuvred as if 
on parade; Eylau, where we drowned the Russians in a lake, as 
though Napoleon had blown them into it with the breath of his 
mouth ; Wagram, where the army fought for three days without 
grumbling. We won as many battles as there are saints in the 
calendar. It was proved then beyond a doubt, that Napoleon had 
the sword of God in his scabbard. The soldiers were his friends; 
he made them his children; he looked after us; he saw that we 
had shoes, and shirts, and great-coats, and bread, and cartridges; 
but he always kept up his majesty; for, don't you see, 'twas his 
business to reign. No matter for that, however; a sergeant, and 
even a common soldier could say to him, * My Emperor,' just as 
you say to me sometimes, * My good friend. * He gave us an 
answer if we appealed to him; he slept in the snow like the 
rest of us; and indeed, he had almost the air of a human man. 
I who speak to you, I have seen him with his feet among the 
grapeshot, and no more uneasy than you are now, — standing 
steady, looking through his field glass, and minding his business. 



HONORE DE BALZAC 1425 

'Twas that kept the rest of us quiet. I don't know how he did 
it, but when he spoke he made our hearts burn within us; and 
to show him we were his children, incapable of balking, didn't 
we rush at the moiiths of the rascally cannon, that belched and 
vomited shot and shell without so much as saying, * Look out ! ' 
Why! the dying must needs raise their heads to salute him and 
cry, 'LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!' 

" I ask you, was that natural ? would they have done that for 
a human man ? 

"Well, after he had settled the world, the Empress Josephine, 
his wife, a good woman all the same, managed matters so that 
she did not bear him any children, and he was obliged to give 
her up, though he loved her considerably. But, you see, he had 
to have little ones for reasons of state. Hearing of this, all the 
sovereigns of Europe quarreled as to which of them should give 
him a wife. And he married, so they told us, an Austrian arch- 
duchess, daughter of Caesar, an ancient man about whom people 
talk a good deal, and not in France only, — where any one will 
tell you what he did, — but in Europe. It is all true, for I myself 
who address you at this moment, I have been on the Danube, 
and have seen the remains of a bridge built by that man, who, 
it seems, was a relation of Napoleon in Rome, and that's how 
the Emperor got the inheritance of that city for his son. So 
after the marriage, which was a fete for the whole world, and in 
honor of which he released the people of ten years' taxes, — which 
they had to pay all the same, however, because the assessors 
didn't take account of what he said, — his wife had a little one, 
who was King of Rome. Now, there's a thing that had never 
been seen on this earth; never before was a child bom a king 
with his father living. On that day a balloon went up in Paris 
to tell the news to Rome, and that balloon made the journey in 
one day! 

** Now, is there any man among you who will stand up and 
declare to me that all that was human ? No ; it was written 
above; and may the scurvy seize them who deny that he was 
sent by God himself for the triumph of France ! 

"Well, here's the Emperor of Russia, that used to be his 
friend, he gets angry because Napoleon didn't marry a Russian; 
so he joins with the English, our enemies, — to whom our 
Emperor always wanted to say a couple of words in their bur- 
rows, only he was prevented. Napoleon gets angry too; an end 
III — go 



1426 HON ORE DE BALZAC 

had to be put to such doings ; so he says to us : — ' Soldiers ! you 
have been masters of every capital in Europe, except Moscow, 
which is now the ally of England. To conquer England, and 
India which belongs to the English, it becomes our peremptory 
duty to go to Moscow.* Then he assembled the greatest army 
that ever trailed its gaiters over the globe; and so marvelously 
in hand it was that he reviewed a million of men in one day. 
*Hourra!* cried the Russians. Down came all Russia and those 
animals of Cossacks in a flock. 'Twas nation against nation, 
a general hurly-burly, and beware who could ; * Asia against 
Europe,* as the Red Man had foretold to Napoleon. * Enough,* 
cried the Emperor, * I'll be ready.* 

" So now, sure enough, came all the kings, as the Red Man 
had said, to lick Napoleon's hand ! Austria, Prussia, Bavaria, 
Saxony, Poland, Italy, every one of them were with us, flatter- 
ing us; ah, it was fine! The eagles never cawed so loud as at 
those parades, perched high above the banners of all Europe. 
The Poles were bursting with joy, because Napoleon was going 
to release them; and that's why France and Poland are brothers 
to this day. * Russia is ours, * cried the army. We plunged into 
it well supplied; we marched and we marched, — no Russians. 
At last we found the brutes entrenched on the banks of the 
Moskova. That's where I won my cross, and I've got the right 
to say it was a damnable battle. This was how it came about. 
The Emperor was anxious. He had seen the Red Man, who 
said to him, * My son, you are going too fast for your feet; you 
will lack men; friends will betray you.* So the Emperor offered 
peace. But before signing, * Let tis drub those Russians ! * he 
said to us. * Done ! * cried the army. * Forward, march ! * said 
the sergeants. My clothes were in rags, my shoes worn out, 
from trudging along those roads, which are very uncomfortable 
ones; but no matter! I said to myself, * As it's the last of our 
earthquakings, I'll. go into it, tooth and nail!* We were drawn 
up in line before the great ravine, — front seats, as 'twere. 
Signal given; and seven himdred pieces of artillery began a con- 
versation that would bring the blood from your ears. Then — 
must do justice to one's enemies — the Russians let themselves 
be killed like Frenchmen; they wouldn't give way; we couldn't 
advance. 'Forward,* some one cried, 'here comes the Emperor!* 
True enough ; he passed at a gallop, waving his hand to let us 
know we must take the redoubt. He inspired us; on we ran, I 



HONORE DE BALZAC 1427 

was the first in the ravine. Ha! my God! how the Heutenants 
fell, and the colonels, and the soldiers! No matter! all the more 
shoes for those that had none, and epaulets for the clever ones 
who knew how to read. * Victory ! * cried the whole line ; * Vic- 
tory ! * — and, would you believe it ? a thing never seen before, 
there lay twenty-five thousand Frenchmen on the ground. 'Twas 
like mowing down a wheat-field; only in place of the ears of 
wheat put the heads of men! We were sobered by this time, — 
those who were left alive. The Man rode up; we made a circle 
round him. Ha! he knew how to cajole his children; he could 
be amiable when he liked, and feed 'em with words when their 
stomachs were ravenous with the hunger of wolves. Flatterer! 
he distributed the crosses himself, he uncovered to the dead, and 
then he cried to us, * On ! to Moscow ! ' * To Moscow ! * answered 
the army. 

" We took Moscow. Would you believe it ? the Russians 
burned their own city! 'Twas a haystack six miles square, and 
it blazed for two days. The buildings crashed like slates, and 
showers of melted iron and lead rained down upon us, which was 
naturally horrible. I may say to you plainly, it was like a flash 
of lightning on our disasters. The Emperor said, *We have 
done enough; my soldiers shall rest here.' So we rested awhile, 
just to get the breath into our bodies and the flesh on our bones, 
for we were really tired. We took possession of the golden cross 
that was on the Kremlin; and every soldier brought away with 
him a small fortune. But out there the winter sets in a month 
earlier, — a thing those fools of science didn't properly explain. 
So, coming back, the cold nipped us. No longer an army — do 
you hear me ? — no longer any generals, no longer any sergeants 
even. 'Twas the reign of wretchedness and htmger, — a reign of 
equality at last. No one thought of anything but to see France 
once more; no one stooped to pick up his gnn or his money if 
he dropped them; each man followed his nose, and went as he 
pleased without caring for glory. The weather was so bad the 
Emperor couldn't see his star; there was something between him 
and the skies. Poor man! it made him ill to see his eagles fly- 
ing away from victory. Ah! 'twas a mortal blow, you may 
believe me. 

"Well, we got to the Beresina. My friends, I can affirm to 
ycm by all that is most sacred, by my honor, that since mankind 
came, into the world, never, never, was there seen such a 



1428 HONORE DE BALZAC 

fricassee of an army — guns, carriages, artillery wagons — in the 
midst of such snows, under such relentless skies! The muzzles 
of the muskets burned our hands if we touched them, the iron 
was so cold. It was there that the army was saved by the pon- 
toniers, who were firm at their post; and there that Gondrin — 
sole survivor of the men who were bold enough to go into the 
water and build the bridges by which the army crossed — that 
Gondrin, here present, admirably conducted himself, and saved 
us from the Russians, who, I must tell you, still respected the 
grand army, remembering its victories. And," he added, pointing 
to Gondrin, who was gazing at him with the peculiar attention 
of a deaf man, " Gondrin is a finished soldier, a soldier who is 
honor itself, and he merits your highest esteem.** 

"I saw the Emperor," he resumed, "standing by the bridge, 
motionless, not feeling the cold — was that human? He looked 
at the destruction of his treasure, his friends, his old Egyptians. 
Bah! all that passed him, women, army wagons, artillery, all 
were shattered, destroyed, ruined. The bravest ' carried the 
eagles; for the eagles, d'ye see, were France, the nation, all of 
you! they were the civil and the military honor that must be 
kept pure ; could their heads be lowered because of the cold ? It 
was only near the Emperor that we warmed ourselves, because 
when he was in danger we ran, frozen as we were — we, who 
wouldn't have stretched a hand to save a friend. They told us 
he wept at night over his poor family of soldiers. Ah! none but 
he and Frenchmen could have got themselves out of that busi- 
ness. 

"We did get out, but with losses, great lo&ses, as I tell 
you. The Allies captured our provisions. Men began to betray 
him, as the Red Man predicted. Those chatterers in Paris, who 
had held their tongues after the Imperial Guard was formed, 
now thought he was dead; so they hoodwinked the prefect of 
police, and hatched a conspiracy to overthrow the empire. He 
heard of it; it worried him. He left us, saying: * Adieu, my 
children; guard the outposts; I shall return to you.' Bah! with- 
out him nothing went right; the generals lost their heads; the 
marshals talked nonsense and committed follies; but that was 
not surprising, for Napoleon, who was kind, had fed 'em on gold; 
they had got as fat as lard, and wouldn't stir; some stayed in 
camp when they ought to have been warming the backs of the 
enemy who was between us and France. 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



1429 



* But the Emperor came back, and he brought recruits, famous 
recruits; he changed their backbone and made 'em dogs of war, 
fit to set their teeth into anything; and he brought a guard of 
honor, a fine body indeed! — all bourgeois, who melted away like 
butter on a gridiron. 

"Well, spite of our stem bearing, here's everything going 
against us; and yet the army did prodigies of valor. Then 
came battles on the mountains, nations against nations, — Dres- 
den, Lutzen, Bautzen. Remember these days, all of you, for 
'twas then that Frenchmen were so particularly heroic that a 
good grenadier only lasted six months. We triumphed always; 
yet there were those English, in our rear, rousing revolts against 
us with their lies! No matter, we cut our way home through 
the whole pack of the nations. Wherever the Emperor showed 
himself we followed him; for if, by sea or land, he gave us the 
word * Go ! * we went. At last, we were in France ; and many a 
poor foot-soldier felt the air of his own country restore his soul 
to satisfaction, spite of the wintry weather. I can say for myself 
that it refreshed my life. Well, next, our business was to defend 
France, our country, our beautiful France, against all Europe, 
which resented our having laid down the law to the Russians, 
and pushed them back into their dens, so that they couldn't eat 
us up alive, as northern nations, who are dainty and like southern 
flesh, have a habit of doing, — at least, so I've heard some gen- 
erals ' say. Then the Emperor saw his own father-in-law, his 
friends whom he had made kings, and the scoundrels to whom 
he had given back their thrones, all against him. Even French- 
men, and allies in our own ranks, turned against us under secret 
orders, as at the battle of Leipsic. Would common soldiers have 
been capable of such wickedness ? Three times a day men were 
false to their word, — and they called themselves princes! 

*' So, then, France was invaded. Wherever the Emperor 
showed his lion face, the enemy retreated; and he did more 
prodigies in defending France than ever he had done in conquer- 
ing Italy, the East, Spain, Europe, and Russia. He meant to 
bury every invader under the sod, and teach 'em to respect the 
soil of France. So he let them get to Paris, that he might swal- 
low them at a moiithful, and rise to the height of his genius in 
a battle greater than all the rest, — a mother-battle, as 'twere. 
But there, there ! the Parisians were afraid for their twopenny 
skins, and their trumpery shops; they opened the gates. Then 



143° 



HONORE DE BALZAC 



the Ragusades began, and happiness ended. The Empress was 
fooled, and the white banner flaunted from the windows. The 
generals whom he had made his nearest friends abandoned him 
for the Bourbons,— a set of people no one had heard tell of. 
The Emperor bade us farewell at Fontainebleau : — ^ Soldiers ! * — 
I can hear him now; we wept hke children; the flags and the 
eagles were lowered as if for a funeral: it was, I may well say 
it to you, it was the funeral of the Empire ; her dapper armies 
were nothing now but skeletons. So he said to us, standing 
there on the portico of his palace : - — * My soldiers ! we are van- 
quished by treachery; but we shall meet in heaven, the country 
of the brave. Defend my child, whom I commit to you. Long 
live Napoleon II. ! * He meant to die, that no man should look 
upon Napoleon vanquished; he took poison, enough to have 
killed a regiment, because, like Jesus Christ before his Passion, 
he thought himself abandoned of God and his talisman. But the 
poison did not hurt him. 

"See again! he found he was immortal. 

** Sure of himself, knowing he must ever be The Emperor, he 
went for a while to an island to study out the nature of these 
others, who, you may be sure, committed follies without end. 
Whilst he bided his time down there, the Chinese, and the wild 
men on the coast of Africa, and the Barbary States, and others 
who are not at all accommodating, knew so well he was more 
than man that they respected his tent, saying to touch it would 
be to offend God. Thus, d'ye see, when these others turned him 
from the doors of his own France, he still reigned over the whole 
world. Before long he embarked in the same little cockleshell 
of a boat he had had in Egypt, sailed round the beard of the 
English, set foot in France, and France acclaimed him. The 
sacred cuckoo flew from spire to spire; all France cried out with 
one voice, * Long Live The Emperor ! * In this region, here, the 
enthusiasm for that wonder of the ages was, I may say, solid. 
Dauphine behaved well; and I am particularly pleased to know 
that her people wept when they saw, once more, the gray over- 
coat. March first it was, when Napoleon landed with two hun- 
dred men to conquer that kingdom of France and of Navarre, 
which on the twentieth of the same month was again the French 
Empire. On that day our Man was in Paris; he had made a 
clean sweep, recovered his dear France, and gathered his veterans 
together by saying no more than three words, *I am here.* 



HONORE DE BALZAC 1431 

" 'Twas the greatest miracle God had yet done ! Before /«'/«, 
did ever man recover an empire by showing his hat ? And these 
others, who thought they had subdued France! Not they! At 
sight of the eagles, a national army sprang up, and we marched 
to Waterloo. There, the Guard died at one blow. Napoleon, 
in despair, threw himself three times before the cannon of the 
enemy without obtaining death. We saw that. The battle was 
lost. That night the Emperor called his old soldiers to him; on 
the field soaked with our blood he burned his banner and his 
eagles, — his poor eagles, ever victorious, who cried * Forward * 
in the battles, and had flown the length and breadth of Europe, 
they were saved the infamy of belonging to the enemy: all the 
treasures of England couldn't get her a tail-feather of them. No 
more eagles! — the rest is well known. The Red Man went over 
to the Bourbons, like the scoundrel that he is. France is crushed; 
the soldier is nothing; they deprive him of his dues; they dis- 
charge him to make room for broken-down nobles — ah, 'tis pit- 
iable ! They seized Napoleon by treachery ; the English nailed 
him on a desert island in mid-ocean on a rock raised ten thousand 
feet above the earth; and there he is, and will be, till the Red 
Man gives him back his power for the happiness of France. 
These others say he's dead. Ha, dead! 'Tis easy to see they 
don't know Him. They tell that fib to catch the people, and 
feel safe in their hovel of a government. Listen ! the truth at 
the bottom of it all is that his friends have left him alone on the 
desert island to fulfil a prophecy, for I forgot to say that his 
name, Napoleon, means *lion of the desert.* Now this that I 
tell you is true as the Gospel. All other tales that you hear 
about the Emperor are follies without common-sense; because, 
d'ye see, God never gave to child of woman born the right to 
stamp his name in red as he did, on the earth, which forever 
shall remember him ! Long live Napoleon, the father of his peo- 
ple and of the soldier ! " 

**Long live General Eble ! '* cried the pontonier. 

" How happened it you were not killed in the ravine at Mos- 
kova ? " asked a peasant woman. 

" How do I know ? We went in a regiment, we came out a 
hundred foot-soldiers; none but the lines were capable of taking 
that redoubt: the infantry, d'ye see, that's the real army." 

"And the cavalry! what of that?" cried Genastas, letting him- 
self roll from the top of the hay, and appearing to us with a 



J432 ' HONORE DE BALZAC 

suddenness which made the bravest utter a cry of terror. " Eh ! 
my old veteran, you forget the red lancers of Poniatowski, the 
cuirassiers, the dragoons! they that shook the earth when Napo- 
leon, impatient that the victory was delayed, said to Murat, * Sire, 
cut them in two.* Ha, we were off! first at a trot, then at a 
gallop, *one, two,* and the enemy's line was cut in halves like an 
apple with a knife. A charge of cavalry, my old hero! why, 
'tis a column of cannon balls ! ** 

" How about the pontoniers ? * cried Gondrin. 

"My children," said Genastas, becoming suddenly quite 
ashamed of his sortie when he saw himself in the midst of a 
silent and bewildered group, " there are no spies here, — see, take 
this and drink to the Little Corporal." 

«LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!" cried all the people pres- 
ent, with one voice. 

"Hush, my children!" said the officer, struggling to control 
his emotion. " Hi:sh ! Jie is dead. He died saying, * Glory, 
France, and battle.* My friends, he had to die, he! but his 
memory — never! " 

Goguelat made a gesture of disbelief; then he said in a low 
voice to those nearest, " The officer is still in the service, and 
he's told to tell the people the Emperor is dead. We mustn't be 
angry with him, because, d'ye see, a soldier has to obey orders." 

As Genestas left the barn he heard the Fosseuse say, " That 
officer is a friend of the Emperor and of Monsieur Benassis. " 
On that, all the people rushed to the door to get another sight 
of him, and by the light of the moon they saw the doctor take 
his arm. 

** I committed a great folly, " said Genestas. "Let us get home 
quickly. Those eagles — the cannon — the campaigns! I no 
longer knew where I was." 

" What do you think of my Goguelat ? " asked Benassis. 

" Monsieur, so long as sucli tales are told, France will carry 
in her entrails the fourteen armies of the Republic, and may at 
any time renew the conversation of cannon with all Europe. 
That's my opinion." 




GEORGE BANCROFT. 




1433 

GEORGE BANCROFT 

(1 800- 1 89 1) 

BY AUSTIN SCOTT 

|he life of George Bancroft was nearly conterminous with the 
nineteenth century. He was born at Worcester, Mass., 
October 3d, 1800, and died at Washington, D. C, January 
17th, 1 89 1. Bi:t it was not merely the stretch of his years that 
identified him with this century. In some respects he represented 
his time as no other of its men. He came into touch with many 
widely differing elements which made up its life and character. He 
spent most of his life in cities, but never lost the sense for country 
sights and sounds which central Massachiisetts gave him in Worces- 
ter, his birthplace, and in Northampton, where he taught school. 
The home into which he was born offered him from his infancy a 
rich possession. His father was a Unitarian clergyman who wrote a 
< Life of Washington ' that was received with favor ; thus things con- 
cerning God and country were his patrimony. Not without signifi- 
cance was a word of his mother which he recalled in his latest years, 
"My son, I do not wish you to become a rich man, but I would have 
you be an affluent man ; ad fluo, always a little more coming in than 
going out." 

To the advantages of his boyhood home and of Harvard College, 
to which he went as a lad of thirteen, the eager young student 
added the opportunity, then uncommon, of a systematic course of 
study in Germany, and won the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at 
Gottingen in 1820. He had in a marked degree the characteristics of 
his countrymen, versatility and adaptability. Giving up an early pur- 
pose of fitting himself for the pulpit, he taught in Harvard, and 
helped to found a school of an advanced type at Northampton. 
Meantime he published a volume of verse, and foimd out that the 
passionate love of poetry which lasted through his life was not 
creative. At Northampton he published in 1828 a translation in two 
volumes of Heeren's 'History of the Political System of Europe,' and 
also edited two editions of a Latin Reader; but the duties of a 
schoolmaster's life were early thrown aside, and he could not be 
persuaded to resume them later when the headship of an important 
educational institution was offered to him. Together with the one 
great pursuit of his life, to which he remained true for sixty years, 
he delighted in the activities of a politician, the duties of a states- 
man, and the occupations of a man of affairs and of the world. 



1434 



GEORGE BANCROFT 



Bancroft received a large but insufficient vote as the Democratic 
candidate for the Governorship of Massachusetts, and for a time he 
held the office of Collector of the port of Boston. As Secretary of 
the Navy in the Cabinet of Polk, he rendered to his country two 
distinct services of great value : he founded the Naval School at 
Annapolis, and by his prompt orders to the American commander in 
the Pacific waters he secured the acquisition of California for the 
United States. The special abilities he displayed in the Cabinet were 
such, so Polk thought, as to lead to his appointment as Minister to 
England in 1846. He was a diplomat of no mean order. President 
Johnson appointed him Minister to Germany in 1867, and Grant 
retained him at that post until 1874, as long as Bancroft desired it. 
During his stay there he concluded just naturalization treaties with 
Germany, and in a masterly way won from the Emperor, William I., 
as arbitrator, judgment in favor of the United States's claim over 
that of Great Britain in the Northwestern boundary dispute. 

'Always holding fast his one cherished object, — that of worthily 
writing the history of the United States, — Bancroft did not deny him- 
self the pleasure of roaming in other fields. He wrote frequently on 
current topics, on literary, historical, and political subjects. His eulo- 
gies of Jackson and of Lincoln, pronounced before Congress, entitle 
him to the rank of an orator. He was very fond of studies in meta- 
physics, and Trendelenburg, the eminent German philosopher, said of 
him, "Bancroft knows Kant through and through." 

His home — whether in Boston, or in New York where he spent 
the middle portion of his life, or in Washington his abode for the last 
sixteen years, or during his residence abroad — was the scene of the 
occupations and delights which the highest culture craves. He was 
gladly welcomed to the inner circle of the finest minds of Germany, 
and the tribute of the German men of learning was unfeigned and 
universal when he quitted the country in 1874. Many of the best 
men of England and of France were among his warm friends. At 
his table were gathered from time to time some of the world's great- 
est thinkers, — men of science, soldiers, statesmen and men of affairs. 
Fond as he was of social joys, it was his daily pleasure to rnount his 
horse and alone, or with a single companion, to ride where nature in 
her shy or in her exuberant mood inspired. One day, after he was 
eighty years old, he rode on his young, blooded Kentucky horse along 
the Virginia bank of the Potomac for more than thirty-six miles. He 
could be seen every day among the perfect roses of his garden at 
"Roseclyffe," his Newport summer-home, often full of thought, at 
other times in wellnigh boisterous glee, always giving unstinted care 
and expense to the queen of flowers. The books in which he kept 
the record of the rose garden were almost as elaborate as those in 



GEORGE BANCROFT 1 435 

which were entered the facts and fancies out of which his History 
g^ew. His home life was charming. By a careful use of opportuni- 
ties and of his means he became an "affluent'* man. He was twice 
married: both times a new source of refined domestic happiness long 
blessed his home, and new means for enlarged comfort and hospi- 
tality were added to his own. Two sons, children of his first wife, 
survived him. 

Some of Bancroft's characteristics were not unlike those of Jeffer- 
son. A constant tendency to idealize called up in him at times a 
feeling verging on impatience with the facts or the men that stood 
in the way of a theory or the accomplishment of a personal desire. 
He had a keen perception of an underlying or a final truth and pro- 
fessed warm love for it, whether in the large range of history or in 
the nexus of current politics : any one taking a different point of 
view at times was led to think that his facts, as he stated them, lay 
crosswise, and might therefore find the perspective out of drawing, 
but could not rightly impugn his good faith. 

Although a genuine lover of his race and a believer in Democracy, 
he was not always ready to put implicit trust in the individual as 
being capable of exercising a wise judgment and the power of true 
self-direction. For man he avowed a perfect respect; among men 
his bearing showed now and then a trace of condescension. In con- 
troversies over disputed points of history — and he had many such — 
he meant to be fair and to anticipate the final verdict of truth, but 
overwhelming evidence was necessary to convince him that his judg- 
ment, formed after painstaking research, could be wrong. His ample 
love of justice, however, is proved by his passionate appreciation of 
the character of Washington, by his unswerving devotion to the con- 
ception of our national unity, both in its historical development and 
at the moment when it was imperiled by civil war, and by his 
hatred of slavery and of false financial policies. He took pleasure in 
giving generously, but always judiciously and without ostentation. 
On one occasion he, with a few of his friends, paid off the debt from 
the house of an eminent scholar; on another, he helped to rebuild 
for a great thinker the home which had been burned. At Harvard, 
more than fifty years after his graduation, he founded a traveling 
scholarship and named it in honor of the president of his college 
days. 

As to the manner of his work, Bancroft laid large plans and gave 
to the details of their execution unwearied zeal. The scope of the 
* History of the United States > as he planned it was admirable. In 
carrying it out he was persistent in acquiring materials, sparing no 
pains in his research at home and abroad, and no cost in securing 
original papers or exact copies and transcripts from the archives of 



1436 GEORGE BANCROFT 

England and France, Spain and Holland and Germany, from public 
libraries and from individuals; he fished in all waters and drew fish 
of all sorts into his net. He took great pains, and the secretaries 
whom he employed to aid him in his work were instructed likewise 
to take great pains, not only to enter facts in the reference books in 
their chronological order, but to make all possible cross-references to 
related facts. The books of his library, which was large and rich in 
treasures, he tised as tools, and many of them were filled with cross 
references. In the fly-leaves of the books he read he made note with 
a word and the cited page of what the printed pages contained of 
interest to him or of value in his work. 

His mind was one of quick perceptions within a wide range, and 
always alert to grasp an idea in its manifold relations. It is remark- 
able, therefore, that he was very laborious in his method of work. 
He often struggled long with a thought for intellectual mastery. In 
giving it. expression, his habit was to dictate rapidly and with enthu- 
siasm and at great length, but he usually selected the final form 
after repeated efforts. His first draft of a chapter was revised again ■ 
and again and condensed. One of his early volumes in its first man- 
uscript form was eight times as long as when finally published. He 
had another striking habit, that of writing by topics rather than in 
strict chronological order, so that a chapter which was to find its 
place late in the volume was often completed before one which was 
to precede it. Partly by nature and perhaps partly by this prac- 
tice, he had the power to carry on simultaneously several trains of 
thought. When preparing one of his public orations, it was remarked 
by one of his household that after an evening spent over a trifling 
game of bezique, the next morning found him well advanced beyond 
the point where the work had been seemingly laid down. He had 
the faculty of buoying a thought, knowing just where to take it up 
after an interruption and deftly splicing it in continuous line, some- 
times after a long interval. When about to begin the preparation of 
the argument which was to sustain triumphantly the claim of the 
United States in the boundary question, he wrote from Berlin for 
copies of documents filed in the office of the Navy Department, which 
he remembered were there five-and-twenty years before. 

The < History of the United States from the Discovery of America 
to the Inauguration of Washington * is treated by Bancroft in three 
parts. The fir.st, Colonial History from 1492 to 1748, occupies more 
than one fourth of his pages. The second part, the American Revo- 
lution, 1748 to 1782, claims more than one half of the entire work, 
and is divided into four epochs: — the first, 1748-1763, is entitled 
'The Overthrow of the European Colonial System'; the second, 
1763-1774, *How Great Britain Estranged America*; the third, 1774- 



GEORGE BANCROFT 1437 

1776, 'America Declares Itself Independent'; the fourth, 1776-1782, 
<The Independence of America is Acknowledged.' The last part, 
'The History of the Formation of the Constitution,' 1782-1789, though 
published as a separate work, is essentially a continuation of the 
History proper, of which it forms in bulk rather more than one 
tenth. 

If his services as a historian are to be judged by any one portion 
of his work rather than by another, the history of the formation of 
the Constitution affords the best test. In that the preceding work 
comes to fruition ; the time of its writing, after the Civil War and 
the consequent settling of the one vexing question by the abolition 
of sectionalism, and when he was in the fullness of the experience of 
his own ripe years, was most opportune. Bancroft was equal to his 
opportunity. He does not teach us that the Constitution is the result 
of superhuman wisdom, nor on the other hand does he admit, as 
John Adams asserted, that however excellent, the Constitution was 
wrung "from the grinding necessity of a reluctant people." He does 
not fail to point out the critical nature of the four years prior to the 
meeting of the Federal Convention ; but he discerns that whatever 
occasions, whether transitory or for the time of " steady and com- 
manding influence," may help or hinder the formation of the now 
perfect union, its true cause was *' an indwelling necessity " in the 
people to '* form above the States a common constitution for the 
whole." 

Recognizing the fact that the primary cause for the true union 
was remote in origin and deep and persistent, Bancroft gives a ret- 
rospect of the steps toward union from the founding of the colonies 
to the close of the war for independence. Thenceforward, sugges- 
tions as to method or form of amending the Articles of Confeder- 
ation, whether made by individuals, or State Legislatures, or by 
Congress, were in his view helps indeed to promote the movement; 
but they were first of all so many proofs that despite all the contrary 
wayward surface indications, the strong current was flowing inde- 
pendently toward the just and perfect union. Having acknowledged 
this fundamental fact of the critical years between Yorktown and the 
Constitution, the historian is free to give just and discriminating 
praise to all who shared at that time in redeeming the political hope 
of mankind, to give due but not exclusive honor to Washington and 
Thomas Paine, to Madison and Hamilton and their co-worthies. 

The many attempts, isolated or systematic, during the period 
from 1 78 1- 1 786, to reform the Articles of Confederation, were happily 
futile; but they were essential in the training of the people in the 
consciousness of the nature of the work for which they are responsi- 
ble. The balances must come slowly to a poise. Not merely union 



1438 



GEORGE BANCROFT 



strong and for a time effective, was needed, but union of a certain 
and unprecedented sort: one in which the true pledge of permanency 
for a continental republic was to be found in the federative principle, 
by which the highest activities of nation and of State were condi- 
tioned each by the welfare of the other. The people rightly felt, 
too, that a Congress of one house would be inadequate and danger- 
ous. They waited in the midst of risks for the proper hour, and 
then, not reluctantly but resolutely, adopted the Constitution as a 
promising experiment in government. 

Bancroft's treatment of the evolution of the second great organic 
act of this time — the Northwestern ordinance — is no less just and 
true to the facts. For two generations men had snatched at the 
laurels due to the creator of that matchless piece of legislation ; to 
award them now to Jefferson, now to Nathan Dane, now to Rufus 
King, now to Manasseh Cutler. Bancroft calmly and clearly shows 
how the great law grew with the kindly aid and watchful care of 
these men and of others. 

The deliberations of the Federal Constitution are adequately 
recorded; and he gives fair relative recognition to the work and 
words of individuals, and the actions of State delegations in making 
the great adjustments between nation and States, between large and 
small and slave and free States. From his account we infer that the 
New Jersey plan was intended by its authors only for temporary use 
in securing equality for the States in one essential part of the gov- 
ernment, while the men from Connecticut receive credit for the com- 
promise which reconciled nationality with true State rights. Further 
to be noticed are the results of the exhaustive study which Bancroft 
gave to the matter of paper money, and to the meaning of the clause 
prohibiting the States from impairing the obligation of contracts. He 
devotes nearly one hundred pages to 'The People of the States in 
Judgment on the Constitution,* and rightly; for it is the final act of 
the separate States, and by it their individual wills are merged in 
the will of the people, which is one, though still politically dis- 
tributed and active within State lines. His summary of the main 
principles of the Constitution is excellent; and he concludes with a 
worthy sketch of the organization of the first Congress under the 
Constitution, and of the inauguration of Washington as President. 

In this last portion of the * History,' while all of his merits as a 
historian are not conspicuous, neither are some of his chief defects. 
Here the tendency to philosophize, to marshal stately sentences, and 
to be discursive, is not so marked. 

The first volume of Bancroft's < History of the United States > 
was published in 1834, when the democratic spirit was finding its first 
full expression under Jackson, and when John Marshall was finishing 




POCAHONTAS SAVING THE LIFE OF CAI'TALN JOHN SMITH 



GEORGE BANCROFT I439 

his mighty task of revealing to the people of the United States the 
strength that lay in their organic law. As he put forth volume after 
Polume at irregular intervals for fifty years, he in a measure con- 
tinued this work of bringing to the exultant consciousness of the 
people the value of their possession of a continent of liberty and the 
realization of their responsibility. In the course of another gener- 
ation, portions of this ' History of the United States * may begin to 
grow antiquated, though the most brilliant of contemporary journal- 
ists quite recently placed it among the ten books indispensable to 
every American ; but time cannot take away Bancroft's good part in 
producing influences, which, however they may vary in form and 
force, will last throughout the nation's life. 




THE BEGINNINGS OF VIRGINIA 
From < History of the United States' 

THE period of success in planting Virginia had arrived; yet not 
till changes in European politics and society had molded 
the forms of colonization. The Reformation had broken 
the harmony of religious opinion; and differences in the Church 
began to constitute the basis of political parties. After the East 
Indies had been reached by doubling the southern promontory of 
Africa, the great commerce of the world was carried upon the 
ocean. The art of printing had been perfected and diffused; and 
the press spread intelligence and multiplied the facilities of in- 
struction. The feudal institutions, which had been reared in the 
middle ages, were already undermined by the current of time 
and events, and, swaying from their base, threatened to fall. 
Productive industry had built up the fortunes and extended the 
influence of the active classes; while habits of indolence and 
expense had impaired the estates and diminished the power of the 
nobility. These changes produced corresponding results in the 
institutions w^hich were to rise in America. 

A revolution had equally occurred in the purposes for which 
voyages were undertaken. The hope of Columbus, as he sailed 



I440 



GEORGE BANCROFT 



to the west, had been the discovery of a new passage to the East 
Indies. The passion for gold next became the prevailing motive. 
Then the islands and countries near the equator were made the 
tropical gardens of the Europeans. At last, the higher design 
was matured: to plant permanent Christian colonies; to establish 
for the oppressed and the enterprising places of refuge and abode; 
to found states in a temperate clime, with all the elements of 
independent existence. 

In the imperfect condition of industry, a redundant population 
had existed in England even before the peace with Spain, which 
threw out of employment the gallant men who had served under 
Elizabeth by sea and land, and left them no option but to en- 
gage as mercenaries in the quarrels of strangers, or incur the 
hazards of ** seeking a New World. ** The minds of many persons 
of intelligence and rank were directed to Virginia. The brave 
and ingenious Gosnold, who had himself witnessed the fertility 
of the western soil, long solicited the concurrence of his friends 
for the establishment of a colony, and at last prevailed with 
Edward Maria Wingfield, a merchant of the west of England, 
Robert Himt, a clergyman of fortitude and modest worth, and 
John Smith, an adventurer of rarest qualities, to risk their lives 
and hopes of fortune in an expedition. For more than a year 
this little company revolved the project of a plantation. At the 
same time Sir Ferdinando Gorges was gathering information of 
the native Americans, whom he had received from Waymouth, 
and whose descriptions of the country, joined to the favorable 
views which he had already imbibed, filled him with the strong- 
est desire of becoming a proprietary of domains beyond the 
Atlantic. Gorges was a man of wealth, rank and influence; he 
readily persuaded Sir John Popham, Lord Chief Justice of Eng- 
land, to share his intentions. Nor had the assigns of Raleigh 
become indifferent to " western planting ** ; which the most dis- 
tinguished of them all, "industrious Hakluyt,'' the historian of 
maritime enterprise, still promoted by his personal exertions, his 
weight of character, and his invincible zeal, Possessed of what- 
ever information could be derived from foreign sources and a cor- 
respondence with eminent navigators of his times, and anxiously 
watching the progress of Englishmen in the West, his extensive 
knowledge made him a counselor in every colonial enterprise. 

The King of England, too timid to be active, yet too vain to 
be indifferent, favored the design of enlarging his dominions. 



GEORGE BANCROFT 1441 

He had attempted in Scotland the introduction of the arts of life 
among the Highlanders and the Western Isles, by the establish- 
ment of colonies; and the Scottish plantations which he founded 
in the northern counties of Ireland contributed to the affluence 
and the security of that island. When, therefore, a company of 
men of business and men of rank, formed by the experience of 
Gosnold, the enthusiasm of Smith, the perseverance of Hakluyt, 
the influence of Popham and Gorges, applied to James I. for 
leave " to deduce a colony into Virginia, " the monarch, on the 
tenth of April, 1606, readily set his seal to an ample patent. 

The first colonial charter, tinder which the English were 
planted in America, deserves careful consideration. 

Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York. 



MEN AND GOVERNMENT IN EARLY MASSACHUSETTS 
From 'History of the United States > 

THESE better auspices, and the invitations of Winthrop, won 
new emigrants from Europe. During the long summer 

voyage of the two hundred passengers who freighted the 
Griffin, three sermons a day beguiled their weariness. Among 
them was Haynes, a man of verj' large estate, and larger affec- 
tions ; of a " heavenly *' mind, and a spotless life ; of rare sagacit}', 
and accurate but unassuming judgment; by nature tolerant, ever 
a friend to freedom, ever conciliating peace; an able legislator; 
dear to the people by his benevolent virtues and his disinterested 
conduct. Then also came the most revered spiritual teachers of 
tw^o commonwealths: the acute and subtle Cotton, the son of a 
Puritan lawyer; eminent in Cambridge as a scholar; quick in the 
nice perception of distinctions, and pliant in dialects; in manner 
persuasive rather than commanding; skilled in the fathers and 
the schoolmen, but finding all their wisdom compactly stored in 
Calvin; deeply devout by nature as well as habit from child- 
hood; hating heresy and still precipitately eager to prevent evil 
actions by suppressing ill opinions, yet verging toward a progress 
in truth and in religious freedom ; an avowed enemy to democ- 
racy, which he feared as the blind despotism of animal instincts 
in the multitude, yet opposing hereditary power in all its forms; 
desiring a government of moral opinion, according to the laws of 
universal equity, and claiming " the ultimate resolution for the 

HI — 91 



1442 GEORGE BANCROFT 

whole body of the people : " and Hooker, of vast endowments, a 
strong will and an energetic mind; ingenuous in his temper, and 
open in his professions; trained to benevolence by the discipline of 
affliction; versed in tolerance by his refuge in Holland; choleric, 
yet gentle in his affections; firm in his faith, yet readily yielding 
to the power of reason; the peer of the reformers, without their 
harshness; the devoted apostle to the humble and the poor, severe 
toward the proud, mild in his soothings of a wounded spirit, 
glowing with the raptures of devotion, and kindling with the 
messages of redeeming love; his eye, voice, gesture, and whole 
frame animate with the living vigor of heart-felt religion; public- 
spirited and lavishly charitable ; and, ** though persecutions and 
banishments had awaited him as one wave follows another," ever 
serenely blessed with " a glorious peace of soul " ; fixed in his 
trust in Providence, and in his adhesion to that cause of advan- 
cing civilization, which he cherished always, even while it remained 
to him a mystery. This was he whom, for his abilities and 
services, his contemporaries placed " in the first rank '* of men ; 
praising him as ** the one rich pearl, with which Europe more 
than repaid America for the treasures from her coast." The 
people to whom Hooker ministered had preceded him;" as he 
landed they crowded aboi:t him with their welcome. " Now I 
live, '* exclaimed he, as with open arms he embraced them, " now 
I live if ye stand fast in the Lord." 

Thus recruited, the little band in Massachusetts grew more 
jealous of its liberties. " The prophets in exile see the true forms 
of the house." By a common impulse, the freemen of the towns 
chose deputies to consider in advance the duties of the general 
court. The charter plainly gave legislative power to the whole 
body of the freemen; if it allowed representatives, thought Win- 
throp, it was only by inference; and, as the whole people could 
not always assemble, the chief power, it was argued, lay neces- 
sarily with the assistants. 

Far different was the reasoning of the people. To check the 
democratic tendency, Cotton, on the election day, preached to 
the assembled freemen against rotation in office. The right of 
an honest magistrate to his place was like that of a proprietor to 
his freehold. But the electors, now between three and four 
hundred in number, were bent on exercising ** their absolute 
power," and, reversing the decision of the pulpit, chose a new 
governor and deputy. The mode of taking the votes was at the 



GEORGE BANCROFT 



1443 



same time reformed; and, instead of the erection of hands, the 
ballot-box was introduced. Thus " the peojjle established a refor- 
mation of such things as they judged to be amiss in the govern- 
ment. *' 

It was further decreed that the whole body of the freemen 
should be convened only for the election of the magistrates: to 
these, with deputies to be chosen by the several towns, the 
powers of legislation and appointment were henceforward in- 
trusted. The trading corporation was unconsciously become a 
representative democracy. 

The law against arbitrary taxation followed. None but the 
immediate representatives of the people might dispose of lands 
or raise money. Thus early did Massachusetts echo the voice of 
Virginia, like deep calling unto deep. The state was filled with 
the hum of village politicians ; " the freemen of every town in 
the Bay were busy in inquiring into their liberties and privi- 
leges." With the exception of the principle of universal suffrage, 
now so happily established, the representative democracy was as 
perfect two centuries ago as it is to-day. Even the magistrates, 
who acted as judges, held their office by the annual popular 
choice. " Elections cannot be safe there long, '* said the lawyer 
Lechford. The same prediction has been made these two hun- 
dred years. The public mind, ever in perpetual agitation, is still 
easily shaken, even by slight and transient impulses; but, after 
all vibrations, it follows the laws of the moral world, and safely 
recovers its balance. 

Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York. 



KING PHILIP'S WAR 
From < History of the United States' 

THUS was Philip hurried into " his rebellion " ; and he is reported 
to have wept as he heard that a white man's blood had been 
shed. He had kept his men about him in arms, and had 
welcomed every stranger; and yet, against his judgment and his 
will, he was involved in war. For what prosjiect had he of suc- 
cess ? The English were united ; the Indians had no alliance : 
the English made a common cause; half the Indians were allies 
of the English, or were quiet spectators of the fight: the English 
had guns 'juough; but few of the Indians were well armed, and 



1444 GEORGE BANCROFT 

they could get no new supplies: the English had towns for their 
shelter and safe retreat; the miserable wigwams of the natives 
were defenseless: the English had sure supplies of food; the 
Indians might easily lose their precarious stores. Frenzy prompted 
their rising. They rose without hope, and they fought without 
mercy. For them as a nation, there was no to-morrow. 

The minds of the English were appalled by the horrors of the 
impending conflict, and superstition indulged in its wild inventions. 
At the time of the eclipse of the moon, you might have seen the 
figure of an Indian scalp imprinted on • the centre of its disk. 
The perfect form of an Indian bow appeared in the sky. The 
sighing of the wind was like the whistling of bullets. Some heard 
invisible troops of horses gallop through the air, while others 
found the prophecy of calamities in the howling of the wolves. 

At the very beginning of danger the colonists exerted their 
wonted energy. Volunteers from Massachusetts joined the troops 
from Plymouth; and, within a week from the commencement of 
hostilities, the insulated Pokanokets were driven from Mount 
Hope, and in less than a month Philip was a fugitive among the 
Nipmucks, the interior tribes of Massachusetts. The little army 
of the colonists then entered the territory of the Narragansetts, 
and from the reluctant tribe extorted a treaty of netitrality, with 
a promise to deliver up every hostile Indian. Victory seemed 
promptly assured. But it was only the commencement of horrors. 
Canonchet, the chief sachem of the Narragansetts, was the son of 
Miantonomoh ; and could he forget his father's wrongs ? Desola- 
tion extended along the whole frontier. Banished from his patri- 
mony, where the pilgrims found a friend, and from his cabin, 
which had sheltered the exiles, Philip, with his warriors, spread 
through the country, awakening their brethren to a warfare of 
extermination. 

The war, on the part of the Indians, was one of ambuscades 
and surprises. They never once met the English in open field; 
but always, even if eightfold in numbers, fled timoroiisly before 
infantry. They were secret as beasts of prey, skillful marksmen, 
and in part provided with firearms, fleet of foot, conversant with 
all the paths of the forest, patient of fatigue, and mad with a 
passion for rapine, vengeance, and destruction, retreating into 
swamps for their fastnesses, or hiding in the greenwood thickets, 
where the leaves mufifled the eyes of the pursuer. By the rapid- 
ity of their descent, they seemed omnipresent among the scattered 



GEORGE BANCROFT ,.,^ 

1445 

villages, which they ravished like a passing- storm ; and for a full 
year they kept all New England in a state of terror and excite- 
ment. The exploring party was waylaid and cut oif, and the 
mangled carcasses and disjointed limbs of the dead were hung 
upon the trees. The laborer in the field, the reapers as they 
sallied forth to the harvest, men as they went to mill, the shep- 
herd's boy among the sheep, were shot down by skulking foes, 
whose approach was invisible. AVho can tell the heavy hours of 
woman.? The mother, if left alone in the house, feared the 
tomahawk for herself and children; on the sudden attack, the 
husband would fly with one child, the wife with another, 'and, 
perhaps, one only escape; the village cavalcade, making its way 
to meeting on Sunday in files on horseback, the farmer holding 
the bridle in one hand and a child in the other, his wife seated 
on a pillion behind him, it may be with a child in her lap, as 
was the fashion in those days, could not proceed safely; but, at 
the moment when least expected, bullets would whizz among 
them, sent from an unseen enemy by the wayside. The forest 
that protected the ambush of the Indians secured their retreat. 
Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York. 



THE NEW NETHERLAND 
From (History of the United States > 

DURING the absence of Stuj-vesant from Manhattan, the war- 
riors of the neighboring Algonkin tribes, never reposing 
confidence in the Dutch, made a desperate assault on the 
colony. In sixty-four canoes they appeared before the town, and 
ravaged the adjacent country. The return of the expedition 
restored confidence. The captives were ransomed, and industry 
repaired its losses. The Dutch seemed to have firmly established 
their power, and promised themselves happier years. New 
Netherland consoled them for the loss of Brazil. They exulted 
in the possession of an admirable territory, that needed no 
embankments against the ocean. They were proud of its vast 
extent,— from New England to Maryland, from the sea to the 
Great River of Canada, and the remote Northwestern wilderness. 
They sounded with exultation the channel of the deep stream 
which was no longer shared with the Swedes; they counted 
with delight its many lovely runs of water, on which the beavers 



1446 GEORGE BANCROFT 

built their villages; and the great travelers who had visited 
every continent, as they ascended the Delaware, declared it one 
of the noblest rivers in the world, with banks more inviting than 
the lands on the Amazon. 

Meantime, the country near the Hudson gained by increasing 
emigration. Manhattan was already the chosen abode of mer- 
chants; and the policy of the government invited them by its 
good-will. If Stuyvesant sometimes displayed the rash despotism 
of a soldier, he was sure to be reproved by his employers. Did 
he change the rate of duties arbitrarily, the directors, sensitive 
to commercial honor, charged him " to keep every contract 
inviolate." Did he tamper with the currency by raising the 
nominal value of foreign coin, the measure was rebuked as dis- 
honest. Did he attempt to fix the price of labor by arbitrary 
rules, this also was condemned as unwise and impracticable. 
Did he interfere with the merchants by inspecting their accounts, 
the deed was censured as without precedent " in Christendom '* ; 
and he was ordered to " treat the merchants with kindness, lest 
they return, and the country be depopulated." Did his zeal for 
Calvinism lead him to persecute Lutherans, he was chid for his 
bigotry. Did his hatred of " the abominable sect of Quakers " 
imprison and afterward exile the blameless Bowne, **let every 
peaceful citizen," wrote the directors, "enjoy freedom of con- 
science ; this maxim has made our city the asylum for fugitives 
from every land; tread in its steps, and you shall be blessed." 

Private worship was therefore allowed to every religion. 
Opinion, if not yet enfranchised, was already tolerated. The 
people of Palestine, from the destruction of their temple an out- 
cast and a wandering race, were allured by the traffic and the 
condition of the New World; and not the Saxon and Celtic 
races only, the children of the bondmen that broke from slaveiy 
in Egypt, the posterity of those who had wandered in Arabia, 
and worshiped near Calvary, found a home, liberty, and a burial 
place on the island of Manhattan. 

The emigrants from Holland were themselves of the most 
various lineage ; for Holland had long been the gathering-place 
of the unfortunate. Could we trace the descent of the emigrants 
from the Low Countries to New Netherland, we should be 
carried not only to the banks of the Rhine and the borders of 
the German Sea, but to the Protestants who escaped from 
France after the massacre of Bartholomew's Eve, and to those 



GEORGE BANCROFT 1 447 

earlier inquirers who were swayed by the voice of Huss in the 
heart of Bohemia. New York was always a city of the world. 
Its settlers were relics of the first fruits of the Reformation, 
chosen from the Belgic provinces and England, from France and 
Bohemia, from Germany and Switzerland, from Piedmont and 
the Italian Alps. 

The religious sects, which, in the middle ages, had been fos- 
tered by the municipal liberties of the south of France, were 
the harbingers of modern freedom, and had therefore been sac- 
rificed to the inexorable feudalism of the north. After a bloody 
conflict, the plebeian reformers, crushed by the merciless leaders 
of the military aristocracy, escaped to the highlands that divide 
France and Italy. Preserving the discipline of a benevolent, 
ascetic morality, with the simplicity of a spiritual worship, 

<<When all our fathers worshiped stocks and stones,** 

it was found, on the progress of the Reformation, that they had 
by three centuries anticipated Luther and Calvin. The hurricane 
of persecution, which was to have swept Protestantism from the 
earth, did not spare their seclusion; mothers with infants were 
rolled down the rocks, and the bones of martyrs scattered on the 
Alpine mountains. The city of Amsterdam offered the fugitive 
Waldenses a free passage to America, and a welcome was pre- 
pared in New Netherland for the few who were willing to emi- 
grate. 

The persecuted of every creed and every clime were invited 
to the colony. When the Protestant churches in Rochelle were 
razed, the Calvinists of that city were gladly admitted; and the 
French Protestants came in such nuinbers that the public docu- 
ments were sometimes issued in French as well as in Dutch and 
English. Troops of orphans were shipped for the milder destinies 
of the New World; a free passage was offered to mechanics; for 
" population was known to be the bulwark of every State. " The 
government of New Netherland had formed just ideas of the fit 
materials for building a commonwealth ; they desired " farmers 
and laborers, foreigners and exiles, men inured to toil and 
penury." The colony increased; children swarmed in every vil- 
lage; the advent of the year and the month of May were wel- 
comed with noisy frolics; new modes of activity were devised; 
lumber was shipped to France; the whale pursued off the coast; 
the vine, the mulberry, planted; flocks of sheep as well as cattle 



1448 GEORGE BANCROFT 

were multiplied; and tile, so long imported from Holland, began 
to be manufactured near Fort Orange. New Amsterdam could, 
in a few years, boast of stately buildings, and almost vied with 
Boston. "This happily situated province," said its inhabitants, 
"may become the granary of our fatherland; should our Nether- 
lands be wasted by grievous wars, it will offer our countrymen 
a safe retreat; by God's blessing, we shall in a few years become 
a mighty people.** 

Thus did various nations of the Caucasian race assist in colo-_ 
nizing our central States. 

Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York. 



FRANKLIN 

From < History of the United States > 

FRANKLIN looked quietly and deeply into the secrets of nature. 
His clear understanding was never perverted by passion, nor 
corrupted by the pride of theory. The son of a rigid Cal- 
vinist, the grandson of a tolerant Quaker, he had from boyhood 
been familiar not only with theological subtilities, but with a 
catholic respect for freedom of mind. Skeptical of tradition as 
the basis of faith, he respected reason rather than authority; and, 
after a momentary lapse into fatalism, he gained with increasing 
years an increasing trust in the overruling providence of God. 
Adhering to none of all the religions in the colonies, he yet 
devoutly, though without form, adhered to religion. But though 
famous as a disputant, and having a natural aptitude for meta- 
physics, he obeyed the tendency of his age, and sought by obser- 
vation to win an insight into the mysteries of being. The best 
observers praise his method most. He so sincerely loved truth, 
that in his pursuit of her she met him half-way. Without preju- 
dice and without bias, he discerned intuitively the identity of the 
laws of nature with those of which humanity is conscious; so that 
his mind was like a mirror, in which the universe, as it reflected 
itself, revealed her laws. His morality, repudiating ascetic severi- 
ties and the system which enjoins them, was indulgent to appe- 
tites of which he abhorred the sway; but his affections were of a 
calm intensity: in all his career, the love of man held the mas- 
tery over personal interest. He had not the imagination which 
inspires the bard or kindles the orator; but an exquisite propriety, 



GEORGE BANCROFT 



1449 



parsimonious of ornament, gave ease, correctness, and graceful 
simplicity even to his most careless writings. In life, also, his 
tastes were delicate. Indifferent to the pleasures of the table, he 
relished the delights of music and harmony, of which he enlarged 
the instruments. His blandness of temper, his modesty, the 
benignity of his manners, made him the favorite of intelligent 
society; and, with healthy cheerfulness, he derived pleasure from 
books, from philosophy, from conversation, — now administering 
consolation to the sorrower, now indulging in light-hearted 
gayety. In his intercourse, the universality of his perceptions 
bore, perhaps, the character of humor; but, while he clearly dis- 
cerned the contrast between the grandeur of the universe and the 
feebleness of man, a serene benevolence saved him from contempt 
of his race or disgust at its toils. To superficial observers, he 
might have seemed as an alien from speculative truth, limiting 
himself to the world of the senses; and j^et, in study, and among 
men, his mind always sought to discover and apply the general 
principles by which nature and affairs are controlled, — now dedu- 
cing from the theory of caloric improvements in fireplaces and 
lanterns, and now advancing human freedom by firm inductions 
from the inalienable rights of man. Never professing enthusiasm, 
never making a parade of sentiment, his practical wisdom was, 
sometimes mistaken for the offspring of selfish prudence; yet his 
hope was steadfast, like that hope which rests on the Rock of 
Ages, and his conduct was as unerring as though the light that 
led him was a. light from heaven. He never anticipated action 
by theories of self-sacrificing virtue; and yet, in the moments of 
intense activity, he from the abodes of ideal truth brought down 
and applied to the affairs of hfe the principles of goodness, as 
unostentatiously as became the man who with a kite and hempen 
string drew lightning from the skies. He separated himself so 
little from his age that he has been called the representative of 
materialism; and yet, when he thought on religion, his mind 
passed beyond reliance on sects to faith in God; when he wrote 
on politics, he founded freedom on principles that know no 
change; when he turned an observing eye on nature, he passed 
from the effect to the cause, from individual appearances to 
universal laws; when he reflected on history, his philosophic 
mind found gladness and repose in the clear anticipation of the 
progress of humanitv- 

Copyrighted by D. Appleton & Co., New York. 



I450 GEORGE BANCROFT • 

WOLFE ON THE PLAINS OF ABRAHAM 
From < History of the United States* 

BUT, in the meantime, Wolfe applied himself intently to recon- 
noitring the north shore above Quebec. Nature had given 
him good eyes, as well as a warmth of temper to follow 
first impressions. He himself discovered the cove which now 
bears his name, where the bending promontories almost form a 
basin, with a very narrow margin, over which the hill rises pre- 
cipitously. ■ He saw the path that wound up the steep, though so 
narrow that two men could hardly march in it abreast; and he 
knew, by the number of tents which he counted on the summit, 
that the Canadian post which guarded it could not exceed a hun- 
dred. Here he resolved to land his army by surprise. To mis- 
lead the enemy, his troops were kept far above the town; while 
Saunders, as if an attack was intended at Beauport, set Cook, 
the great mariner, with others, to sound the water and plant 
buoys along that shore. 

The day and night of the twelfth were employed in prepara- 
tions. The autumn evening was bright; and the general, under 
the clear starlight, visited his stations, to make his final inspec- 
tion and utter his last words of encouragement. As he passed 
from ship to ship, he spoke to those in the boat with him of the 
poet Gray, and the * Elegy in a Country Churchyard.' "I," 
said he, " would prefer being the author of that poem to the 
glory of beating the French to-morrow;" and, while the oars 
struck the river as it rippled in the silence of the night air under 
the flowing tide, he repeated: — 

" The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power, 

And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, 

Await alike the inevitable hour — 

The paths of glory lead but to the grave.'* 

Every officer knew his appointed duty, when, at one o'clock 
in the morning of the thirteenth of September, Wolfe, Monck- 
ton, and Murray, and about half the forces, set off in boats, and, 
using neither sail nor oars, glided down with the tide. In three 
quarters of an hour the ships followed; and, though the night 
had become dark, aided by the rapid current, they reached the 
cove just in time to cover the landing. Wolfe and the troops 



GEORGE BANCROFT 



145^ 



with him leaped on shore; the light infantry, who found them- 
selves borne by the current a little below the intrenched path, 
clambered up the steep bill, staying- themselves by the roots and 
boughs of the maple and spruce and ash trees that covered the 
precipitous declivity, and, after a little firing, dispersed the picket 
which guarded the height ; the rest ascended safely by the path- 
way. A battery of four guns on the left was abandoned to Col- 
onel Howe. When Townshend's division disembarked, the English 
had already gained one of the roads to Quebec; and, advancing 
in front of the forest, Wolfe stood at daybreak with his invinci- 
ble battalions on the Plains of Abraham, the battle-field of the 
Celtic and Saxon races. 

" It can be but a small party, come to bum a few houses and 
retire," said Montcalm, in amazement as the news reached him 
in his intrenchments the other side of the St. Charles; but, obtain- 
ing better information, "Then," he cried, "they have at last got 
to the weak side of this miserable garrison; we must give battle 
and crush them before mid-day." And, before ten, the two 
armies, equal in numbers, each being composed of less than five 
thousand men, were ranged in presence of one another for bat- 
tle. The English, not easily accessible from intervening shallow 
ravines and rail fences, were all regulars, perfect in discipline, 
ten-ible in their fearless enthusiasm, thrilling with pride at their 
morning's success, commanded by a man whom they obeyed 
with confidence and love. The doomed and devoted Montcalm 
had what Wolfe had called but " five weak French battalions, " 
of less than two thousand men, " mingled with disorderly peas- 
antry," formed on commanding ground. The French had three 
little pieces of artillery; the English, one or two. The two 
armies cannonaded each other for nearly an hour; when Mont- 
calm, having summoned De Bougainville to his aid, and dis- 
patched messenger after messenger for De Vaudreuil, who had 
fifteen hundred men at the camp, to come up before he should 
be driven from the ground, endeavored to flank the British and 
crowd them down the high bank of the river. Wolfe counter- 
acted the movement by detaching Townshend with Amherst's 
regiment, and afterward a part of the Royal Americans, who 
formed on the left with a double front. 

Waiting no longer for more troops, Montcalm led the French 
army impetuously to the attack. The ill-disciplined companies 
broke by their precipitation and the unevenness of the ground; 



MS2 



GEORGE BANCROFT 



and fired by platoons, without unity. Their adversaries, espe- 
cially the Forty-third and the Forty-seventh, where Monckton 
stood, of which three men out of four were Americans, received 
the shock with calmness; and after having, at Wolfe's command, 
reserved their fire till their enemy was within forty yards, their 
line began a regular, rapid, and exact discharge of musketry. 
Montcalm was present everywhere, braving danger, wounded, but 
cheering by his example. The^ second in command, De Senne- 
zergues, an associate in glory at Ticonderoga, was killed. The 
brave but untried Canadians, flinching from a hot fire in the 
open field, began to waver; and, so soon as Wolfe, placing him- 
self at the head of the Twenty-eighth and the Louisburg grena- 
diers, charged with bayonets, they everywhere gave way. Of 
the English oflficers, Carleton was wounded; Barre, who fought 
near Wolfe, received in the head a ball which made him blind of 
one eye, and ultimately of both. Wolfe, also, as he led the 
charge, was wounded in the wrist; but still pressing forward, he 
received a second ball; and having decided the day, was struck 
a third time, and mortally, in the breast. "Support me," he 
cried to an oificer near him ; " let not my brave fellows see me 
drop." He was carried to the rear, and they brought him water 
to quench his thirst. " They run ! they run ! " spoke the officer 
on whom he leaned. *' Who run ? " asked Wolfe, as his life was 
fast ebbing. "The French," replied the officer, "give way every- 
where. * " What, " cried the expiring hero, " do they run already ? 
Go, one of you, to Colonel Burton; bid him march Webb's regi- 
ment with all speed to Charles River to cut off the fugitives." 
Four days before, he had looked forward to early death with dis- 
may. "Now, God be praised, I die happy." These were his 
words as his spirit escaped in the blaze of his glory. Night, 
silence, the rushing tide, veteran discipline, the sure inspiration 
of genius, had been his allies; his battle-field, high over the ocean 
river, was the grandest theatre for ilhistrioiis deeds; his victory, 
one of the most momentous in the annals of mankind, gave to 
the English tongue and the institutions of the Germanic race 
the unexplored and seemingly infinite West and South. He 
crowded into a few hours actions that would have given lustre 
to length of life; and, filling his day with greatness, completed 
it before its noon. 

Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York. 



GEORGE BANCROFT 1453 

WASHINGTON 
From <Historj' of the United States* 

THEN, on the fifteenth of June, it was voted to appoint a gen- 
eral. Thomas Johnson, of Maryland, nominated George 
Washington; and as he had been brought forward "at the 
particular request of the people of New England," he was elected 
by ballot unanimously. 

Washington was then forty-three years of age. In stature 
he a little exceeded six feet; his limbs were sinewy and well- 
proportioned; his chest broad; his figure stately, blending dig- 
nity of presence with ease. His robust constitution had been 
tried and invigorated by his early life in the wilderness, the 
habit of occupation out of doors, and rigid temperance; so that 
few equaled him in strength of arm, or power of endurance, or 
noble horsemanship. His complexion was florid; his hair dark 
brown; his head in its shape perfectly round. His broad nostrils 
seemed formed to give expression* and escape to scornful anger. 
His eyebrows were rayed and finely arched. His dark-blue eyes, 
which were deeply set, had an expression of resignation, and 
an earnestness that was almost pensiveness. His forehead was 
sometimes marked with thought, but never with inquietude; his 
countenance was mild and pleasing and full of benignity. 

At eleven years old left an orphan to the care of an excellent 
but unlettered mother, he grew up without learning. Of arith- 
metic and geometry he acquired just knowledge enough to be 
able to practice measuring land; but all his instruction at school 
taught him not so much as the orthography or rules of grammar 
of his own tongiie. His culture was altogether his own work, 
and he was in the strictest sense a self-made man; yet from his 
early life he never seemed uneducated. At sixteen he went into 
the wilderness as a surveyor, and for three years continued the 
pursuit, where the forests trained him, in meditative solitude, to 
freedom and largeness of mind; and nature revealed to him her 
obedience to serene and silent laws. In his intervals from toil, 
he seemed always to be attracted to the best men, and to be 
cherished by them. Fairfax, his employer, an Oxford scholar, 
already aged, became his fast friend. He read little, but with 
close attention. Whatever he took in hand he applied himself 
to with care; and his papers which have been preserved show 



1454 GEORGE BANCROFT 

how he almost imperceptibly gained the power of writing cor- 
rectly; always expressing himself with clearness and directness, 
often with felicity of language and grace. 

When the frontiers on the west became disturbed, he at nine- 
teen was commissioned an adjutant-general with the rank of 
major. At twenty-one he went as the envoy of Virginia to the 
council of Indian chiefs on the Ohio, and to the French officers 
near Lake Erie. Fame waited upon him from his youth; and 
no one of his colony was so much spoken of. He conducted the 
first military expedition from Virginia that crossed the Allegha- 
nies. Braddock selected him as an aid ; and he was the only man 
who came out of the disastrous defeat near the Monongahela 
with increased reputation, which extended to England. The next 
j'-ear, when he was but four-and-twenty, " the great esteem * in 
which he was held in Virginia, and his "real merit,'* led the 
lieutenant-governor of Maryland to request that he might be 
** commissioned and appointed second in command " of the army 
designed to march to the Ohio; and Shirley, the commander-in- 
chief, heard the proposal "with great satisfaction and pleasure,* 
for " he knew no provincial officer upon the continent to whom 
he would so readily give that rank as to Washington.** In 1758 
he acted under Forbes as a brigadier, and but for him that gen- 
eral would never have crossed the mountains. 

Courage was so natural to him that it was hardly spoken of 
to his praise; no one ever at any moment of his life discovered 
in him the least shrinking in danger; and he had a hardihood 
of daring which escaped notice, because it was so enveloped by 
superior calmness and wisdom. 

His address was most easy and agreeable; his step firm and 
graceful; his air neither grave nor familiar. He was as cheerful 
as he was spirited, frank and communicative in the society of 
friends, fond of the fox-chase and the dance, often sportive in 
his letters, and liked a hearty laugh. "His smile,** writes Chas- 
tellux, " was always the smile of benevolence. '* This joyousness 
of disposition remained to the last, though the vastness of his 
responsibilities was soon to take from him the right of displaying 
the impulsive qualities of his nature, and the weight which he was 
to bear up was to overlay and repress his gayety and openness. 

His hand was liberal; giving quietly and without observation, 
as though he was ashamed of nothing but being discovered in 



GEORGE BANCROFT 



I4SS 



doing good. He was kindly and compassionate, and of lively 
sensibility to the sorrows of others; so that, if his country had 
only needed a victim for its relief, he wo^ld have willingly 
offered himself as a sacrifice. But while he was prodigal of 
himself, he was considerate for others; ever parsimonious of the 
blood of his countrymen. 

He was prudent in the management of his private affairs, 
purchased rich lands from the Mohawk valley to the fiats of the 
Kanawha, and improved his fortune by the correctness of his 
judgment; but as a pviblic man, he knew no other aim than the 
good of his country, and in the hour of his country's poverty he 
refused personal emolument for his service. 

His faculties were so well balanced and combined that his 
constitution, free from excess, was tempered evenly with all the 
elements of activity, and his mind resembled a well-ordered com- 
monwealth; his passions, which had the intensest vigor, owned 
allegiance to reason; and with all the fiery quickness of his spirit, 
his impetuous and massive will was held in check by consummate 
judgment. He had in his composition a calm, which gave him 
in moments of highest excitement the power of self-control, and 
enabled him to excel in patience, even when he had most cause 
for disgust. Washington was offered a command when there was 
little to bring out the unorganized resources of the continent but 
his own influence, and authority was connected with the people 
by the most frail, most attenuated, scarcely discernible threads; 
yet, vehement as was his nature, impassioned as was his courage, 
he so retained his ardor that he never failed continuously to 
exert the attractive power of that influence, and never exerted it 
so sharply as to break its force. 

In secrecy he was unsurpassed; but his secrecy had the char- 
acter of prudent reserve, not of cunning or concealment. His 
great natural power of vigilance had been developed by his life 
in the wilderness. 

His understanding was lucid, and his judgment accurate; so 
that his conduct never betrayed hurry or confusion. No detail 
was too minute for his personal inquiry and continued super- 
vision; and at the same time he comprehended events in their 
widest aspects and relations. He never seemed above the object 
that engaged his attention; and he was always equal, without an 
effort, to the solution of the highest questions, even when there 



1456 



GEORGE BANCROFT 



existed no precedents to guide his decision. In the perfection of 
the reflective powers, which he used habitually, he had no peer. 

In this way Jk never drew to himself admiration for the 
possession of any one quality in excess, never made in council 
any one suggestion that was sublime but impracticable, never in 
action took to himself the praise or the blame of undertakings 
astonishing in conception, but beyond his means of execution. 
It was the most wonderful accomplishment of this man that, 
placed upon the largest theatre of events, at the head of the 
greatest revolution in human affairs, he never failed to observe 
all that was possible, and at the same time to bound his aspira- 
tions by that which was possible. 

A slight tinge in his character, perceptible only to the close 
observer, revealed the region from which he sprung, and he 
might be described as the best specimen of manhood as developed 
in the South; but his qualities were so faultlessly proportioned 
that his whole country rather claimed him as its choicest repre- 
sentative, the most complete expression of all its attainments and 
aspirations. He studied his country and conformed to it. His 
coimtrymen felt that he was the best type of America, and 
rejoiced in it, and were proud of it. They lived in his life, and 
made his success and his praise their own. 

Profoundly impressed with confidence in God's providence, 
and exemplary in his respect for the forms of public worship, no 
philosopher of the eighteenth century was more firm in the sup- 
port of freedom of religious opinion, none more remote from 
bigotry; but belief in God, and trust in His overruling power, 
formed the essence of His character. Divine wisdom not only 
ilkimines the spirit, it inspires the will. Washington was a man 
of action, and not of theory or words; his creed appears in his 
life, not in his professions, which burst from him very rarely, 
and only at those great moments of crisis in the fortunes of his 
country, when earth and heaven seemed actually to meet, and 
his emotions became too intense for suppression: but his whole 
being was one continued act of faith in the eternal, intelligent, 
moral order of the universe. Integrity was so completely the 
law of his nature, that a planet would sooner have shot from its 
sphere than he have departed from his uprightness, which was 
so constant that it often seemed to be almost impersonal. ** His 
integrity was the most pure, his justice the most inflexible, I 



GEORGE BANCROFT 1457 

have ever known," writes Jefferson: "no motives of interest or 
consanguinity, of friendship or hatred, being able to bias his 
decision. '* 

They say of Giotto that he introduced goodness into the art 
of painting; Washington carried it with him to the camp and 
the Cabinet, and estabHshed a new criterion of human greatness. 
The purity of his will confirmed his fortitude; and as he never 
faltered in his faith in virtue, he stood fast by that which he 
knew to be just: free from illusions; never dejected by the appre- 
hension of the difficulties and perils that went before him, and 
drawing the promise of success from the justice of his cause. 
Hence he was persevering, leaving nothing unfinished; devoid of 
all taint of obstinacy in his firmness; seeking and gladly receiv- 
ing advice, but immovable in his devotedness to right. 

Of a "retiring modesty and habitual reserve,** his ambition 
was no more than the consciousness of his power, and was sub- 
ordinate to his sense of duty: he took the foremost place, for he 
knew from inborn magnanimity that it belonged to him, and he 
dared not withhold the service required of him; so that, with all 
his humility, he was by necessity the first, though never for him- 
self or for private ends. He loved fame, the approval of coming 
generations, the good opinion of his fellow-men of his own time, 
and he desired to make his conduct coincide with their wishes; 
but not fear of censure, not the prospect of applause, could tempt 
him to swerve from rectitude, and the praise which he coveted 
was the sympathy of that moral sentiment which exists in every 
human breast, and goes forth only to the welcome of virtue. 

There have been soldiers who have achieved mightier victories 
in the field, and made conquests more nearly corresponding to 
the boundlessness of selfish ambition; statesmen who have been 
connected with more startling upheavals of society: but it is the 
greatness of Washington that in public trusts he used power 
solely for the public good; that he was the life and moderator 
and stay of the most momentous revolution in human affairs, its 
moving impulse and its restraining power. Combining the cen- 
tripetal and the centrifugal forces in their utmost strength and 
in perfect relations, with creative grandeur of instinct he held 
ruin in check, and renewed and perfected the institutions of his 
country. Finding the colonies disconnected and dependent, he 
left them such a united and well-ordered commonwealth as no 
in — 92 



1458 



GEORGE BANCROFT 



visionary had believed to be possible. So that it has been truly 
said, "he was as fortunate as great and good.** 

This also is the praise of Washington: that never in the tide 
of time has any man lived who had in so great a degree the 
almost divine faculty to command the confidence of his fellow- 
men and rule the willing. Wherever he became known, in his 
family, his neighborhood, his county, his native State, the con- 
tinent, the camp, civil life, among the common people, in foreign 
courts, throughout the civilized world, and even among the sav- 
ages, he, beyond all other men, had the confidence of his kind. 

Copyrighted by D. Appleton and Company, New York. 




JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 

(1798-1846) (1796-1874) 

5f the writers who have won esteem by telling the pathetic 
stories of their country's people, the names of John and 
Michael Banim are ranked among the Irish Gael not lower 
than that of Sir Walter Scott among the British Gael. The works of 
the Banim brothers continued the same sad and fascinating story of 
the " mere Irish ** which Maria Edgeworth and Lady Morgan had laid 
to the hearts of English readers in the late eighteenth and early 
nineteenth century days. The Banim family was one of those which 

belonged to the class of "middlemen," peo- 
ple so designated in Ireland who were 
neither rich nor poor, but in the fortunate 
mean. The family home was in the his- 
toric town of Kilkenny, famous alike for 
its fighting confederation and its fighting 
cats. Here Michael was bom August 5th, 
1796, and John April 3d, 1798. Michael 
lived to a green old age, and survived his 
younger brother John twenty-eight years, 
less seventeen days; he died at Booters- 
town, August 30th, 1874. 

The first stories of this brotherly col- 
laboration in letters appeared in 1825 with- 
out mark of authorship, as recitals contributed for instruction and 
amusement about the hearth-stone of an Irish household, called < The 




John Banim 



JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 1455 

O'Hara Family.' The minor chords of the soft music of the Gaelic 
English as it fell from the tongues of Irish lads and lasses, whether 
in note of sorrow or of sport, had already begun to touch with win- 
some tenderness the stolid Saxon hearts, when that idyl of their 
country's petial days, * The Bit o" Writin', > was sent out from the 
O'Hara fireside. The almost instantaneous success and popularity of 
their first stories speedily broke down the anonymity of the Banims, 
and publishers became eager and gain-giving. About two dozen 
stories were published before the death of John, in 1842. The best- 
known of them, in addition to the one already mentioned, are * The 
Boyne Water,* < The Croppy,* and 'Father Connell.* 

The fact that during the long survival of Michael no more of the 
Banim stories appeared, is sometimes called in as evidence that the 
latter had little to do with the writing of the series. Michael and 
John, it was well known, had worked lovingly together, and Michael 
claimed a part in thirteen of the tales, without excluding his brother 
from joint authorship. Exactly what each wrote of the joint pro- 
ductions has never been known. A single dramatic work of the 
Banim brothers has attained to a position in the standard drama, the 
play of * Damon and Pythias,* a free adaptation from an Italian orig- 
inal, written by John Banim at the instance of Richard Lalor Shiel. 
The songs are also attributed to John. It is but just to say that the 
great emigration to the United States which absorbed the Irish dur- 
ing the '40's and '50's depreciated the sale of such works as those of 
the Banims to the lowest point, and Michael had good reason, aside 
from the loss of his brother's aid, to lay down his pen. The audi- 
ence of the Irish story-teller had gone away across the great west- 
ern sea. There was nothing to do but sit by the lonesome hearth 
and await one's own to-morrow for the voyage of the greater sea. 



THE PUBLICAN'S DREAM 
From <The Bit o' Writin' and Other Tales* 

THE fair-day had passed over in a little straggling town in the 
southeast of Ireland, and was succeeded by a languor pro- 
portioned to the wild excitement it never failed to create. 
But of all in the village, its publicans suffered most under the 
reaction of great bustle. Few of their houses appeared open at 
broad noon ; and some — the envy of their competitors — continued 
closed even after that late hour. Of these latter, many were of 
the very humblest kind; little cabins, in fact, skirting the outlets 
of the village, or standing alone on the roadside a good distance 
beyond it. 



1460 JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 

About two o'clock upon the day in question, a house of 
"Entertainment for Man and Horse," the very last of the descrip- 
tion noticed to be found between the village and the wild tract 
of mountain country adjacent to it, was opened by the propri- 
etress, who had that moment arisen from bed. 

The cabin consisted of only two apartments, and scarce more 
than nominally even of two; for the half -plastered wicker and 
straw partition, which professed to cut off a sleeping-nook from 
the whole area inclosed by the clay walls, was little higher than 
a tall inan, and moreover chinky and porous in many places. 
Let the assumed distinction be here allowed to stand, however, 
while the reader casts his eyes around what was sometimes called 
the kitchen, sometimes the tap-room, sometimes the " dancing- 
fiure." Forms which had run by the walls, and planks by way of 
tables which had been propped before them, were turned topsy- 
turvy, and in some instances broken. Pewter pots and pints, 
battered and bruised, or squeezed together and flattened, and 
fragments of twisted glass tumblers, lay beside them. The clay 
floor was scraped with brogiae-nails and indented with the heel of 
that primitive foot-gear, in token of the energetic dancing which 
had lately been performed upon it. In a comer still appeared 
(capsized, however) an empty eight-gallon beer barrel, recently 
the piper's throne, whence his bag had blown forth the inspiring 
storms of jigs and reels, which prompted to more antics than 
ever did a bag of the laughing-gas. Among the yellow turf- 
ashes of the hearth lay on its side an old blackened tin kettle, 
without a spout, — a principal utensil in brewing scalding water 
for the manufacture of whisky-punch; and its soft and yet warm 
bed was shared by a red cat, who had stolen in from his own 
orgies, through some cranny, since day-break. The single four- 
paned window of the apartment remained veiled by its rough 
shutter, that turned on leather hinges; but down the wide yawn- 
ing chimney came sufficient light to reveal the objects here 
described. 

The proprietress opened her back door. She was a woman of 
about forty; of a robust, large-boned figure; with broad, rosy 
visage, dark, handsome eyes, and well-cut nose: but inheriting a 
mouth so wide as to proclaim her pure aboriginal Irish pedigree. 
After a look abroad, to inhale the fresh air, and then a remon- 
strance (ending in a kick) with the hungry pig, who ran, 
squeaking and grunting, to demand his long-deferred breakfast, 



JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 1461 

she settled her cap, rubbed down her prauskeen ("coarse apron], 
tucked and pinned up her skirts behind, and saying in a loud, 
commanding voice, as she spoke into the sleeping-chamber, " Get 
up now at once, Jer, I bid you," vigorously if not tidily set about 
putting her tavern to rights. 

During her bustle the dame would stop an instant, and bend 
her ear to listen for a stir inside the partition; but at last losing 
patience she resumed: — 

" Why, then, my heavy hatred on you, Jer Mulcahy, is it 
gone into a sauvaun [pleasant drowsiness] you are, over again ? 
or maybe you stole out of bed, an' put your hand on one o' 
them ould good-for-nothing books, that makes you the laziest 
man that a poor woman ever had imder one roof wid her ? ay, 
an' that sent you out of our dacent shop an' house, in the heart 
of the town below, an' banished us here, Jer Mulcahy, to sell 
drams o' whisky an' pots o' beer to all the riff-raff o' the 
counthry-side, instead o' the nate boots an' shoes you served your 
honest time to ? " 

She entered his, or her chamber, rather, hoping that she 
might detect him luxuriantly perusing in bed one of the muti- 
lated books, a love of which (or more truly a love of indolence, 
thus manifesting itself) had indeed chiefly caused his downfall in 
the world. Her husband, however, really tired after his unusual 
bodily efforts of the previous day, only slumbered, as Mrs. 
Mulcahy had at first anticipated; and when she had shaken and 
aroused him, for the twentieth time that morning, and scolded 
him until the spirit-broken blockhead whimpered, — nay, wept, or 
pretended to weep, — the dame returned to her household duties. 

She did not neglect, however, to keep calling to him every 
half-minute, until at last Mr. Jeremiah Mulcahy strode into the 
kitchen: a tall, ill-contrived figure, that had once been well 
fitted out, but that now wore its old skin, like its old clothes, 
very loosely; and those old clothes were a discolored, threadbare, 
half -polished kerseymere pair of trousers, and aged superfine black 
coat, the last relics of his former Sunday finery, — to which had 
recently and incongruously been added a caKskin vest, a pair of 
coarse sky-blue peasant's stockings, and a pair of brogues. His 
hanging cheeks and lips told, together, his present bad living 
and domestic subjection; and an eye that had been blinded by 
the smallpox wore neither patch nor band, although in better 
days it used to be genteelly hidden from remark, — an assumption 



1462 JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 

of consequence now deemed incompatible with his altered condi- 
tion in society. 

"O Cauth ! oh, I had such a dhrame," he said, as he made 
his appearance. 

"An' I'll go bail you had,'* answered Cauth, "an' when do 
you ever go asleep without having one dhrame or another, that 
pesters me off o' my legs the livelong day, till the night falls 
again to let you have another ? Musha, Jer, don't be ever an' 
always such a fool; an' never mind the dhrame now, but lend a 
hand to help me in the work o' the house. See the pewther 
there: haive it up, man alive, an' take it out into the garden, 
and sit on the big stone in the sun, an' make it look as well as. 
you can, afther the ill usage it got last night; come, hurry, Jer 
— go an' do what I bid you." 

He retired in silence to "the garden,*' a little patch of ground 
luxuriant in potatoes and a few cabbages. Mrs. Mulcahy pursued 
her work till her own sensations warned her that it was time to 
prepare her husband's morning or rather day meal; for by the 
height of the sun it should now be many hours past noon. So 
she put down her pot of potatoes; and when they were boiled, 
took out a wooden trencher full of them, and a mug of sour 
milk, to Jer, determined not to summon him from his useful 
occupation of restoring the pints and quarts to something of 
their former shape. 

Stepping through the back door, and getting him in view, she 
stopped short in silent anger. His back was turned to her, 
because of the sun; and while the vessels, huddled about in con- 
fusion, seemed little the better of his latent skill and industrj% 
there he sat on his favorite round stone, studiously perusing, half 
aloud to himself, some idle volume which doubtless he had smug- 
gled into the garden in his pocket. Laying down her trencher 
and her mug, Mrs. Mulcahy stole forward on tiptoe, gained his 
shoulder without being heard, snatched the imperfect bundle of 
soiled pages out of his hand, and hurled it into a neighbor's 
cabbage-bed. 

Jeremiah complained, in his usual half-crying tone, declaring 
that " she never could let him alone, so she couldn't, and he 
would rather list for a soger than lade such a life, from year's 
end to year's end, so he would.** 

"Well, an' do then — an' whistle that idle cur off wid you,*' 
pointing to a nondescript puppy, which had lain happily coiled 



JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 1463 

up at his master's feet until Mrs. Mulcahy's appearance, but that 
now watched her closely, his ears half cocked and his eyes wide 
open, though his position remained imaltered. " Go along to the 
divil, you lazy whelp you ! " — she took up a pint in which a few 
drops of beer remained since the previous night, and drained it 
on the puppy's head, who instantly ran off, jumping sideways, 
and yelping as loud as if some bodily injury had really visited 
him — ** Yes, an' now you begin to yowl, like your masther, for 
nothing at all, only because a body axes you to stir your idle 
legs — hould your tongue, you foolish baste!" she stooped for a 
stone — ** one would think I scalded you. " 

" You know you did, once, Cauth, to the backbone ; an' small 
blame for Shuffle to be afeard o' you ever since," said Jer. 

This vindication of his own occasional remonstrances, as well 
as of Shuffle's, was founded in truth. When very young, just to 
keep him from nmning against her legs while she was busy 
over the fire, Mrs. Mulcahy certainly had emptied a ladleful of 
boiling potato-water upon the poor puppy's back; and from that 
moment it was only necessary' to spill a drop of the coldest pos- 
sible water, or of any cold liquid, on any part of his body, and 
he believed he was again dreadfully scalded, and ran out of the 
house screaming in all the fancied theories of torture. 

"Will you ate your good dinner, now, Jer Mulcahy, an' prom- 
ise to do something to help me, afther it? — Mother o' Saints!" 
— thus she interrupted herself, turning towards the place where 
she had deposited the eulogized food — "see that yon unlucky 
bird! May I never do an ill turn but there's the pig afther 
spilling the sweet milk, an' now shoveling the beautiful white- 
eyes down her throat at a mouthful ! " 

Jer, really afflicted at this scene, promised to work hard the 
moment he got his dinner; and his spouse, first procuring a 
pitchfork to beat the pig into her sty, prepared a fresh meal for 
him, and retired to eat her own in the house, and then to con- 
tinue her labor. 

In about an hour she thought of paying him another visit of 
inspection, when Jeremiah's voice reached her ear, calling out in 
disturbed accents, "Cauth! Cauth! a-voiirneen! For the love o' 
heaven, Cauth ! where are you ? " 

Running to him, she found her husband sitting upright, 
though not upon his round stone, amongst the still untouched 
heap of pots and pints, his pock-marked face very pale, his 



1464 JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 

single eye staring, his hands clasped and shaking, and moisture 
on his forehead. 

* What ! '* she cried, " the pewther just as I left it, over 
again ! '* 

** O Cauth! Cauth! don't mind that now — but spake to me 
kind, Cauth, an' comfort me.'* 

" Why, what ails you, Jer a-vomnccn ? *' afEectionately taking 
his hand, when she saw how really agitated he was. 

" O Cauth, oh, I had such a, dhrame, now, in earnest, at any 
rate ! *> 

" A dhrame ! " she repeated, letting go his hand, " a dhrame, 
Jer Mulcahy! so, afther your good dinner, you go for to fall 
asleep, Jer Mulcahy, just to be ready wid a new dhrame for me, 
instead of the work you came out here to do, five blessed hours 
ago ! " 

** Don't scould me, now, Cauth ; don't, a-pet : only listen to me, 
an' then say what you like. You know the lonesome little glen 
between the hills, on the short cut for man or horse, to Kilbrog- 
gan ? Well, Cauth, there I found myself in the dhrame ; and I 
saw two sailors, tired afther a day's hard walking, sitting before 
one of the big rocks that stand upright in the wild place; an' 
they were ating or dhrinking, I couldn't make out which; and 
one was a tall, sthrong, broad-shouldhered man, an' the other was 
sthrong, too, but short an' burly; an' while they were talking very 
civilly to each other, lo an' behould you, Cauth, I seen the tall 
man whip his knife into the little man; an' then they both 
sthruggled, an' wrastled, an' schreeched together, till the rocks 
rung again; but at last the little man was a corpse; an' may I 
never see a sight o' glory, Cauth, but all this was afore me as 
plain as you are, in this garden! an' since the hour I was born, 
Cauth, I never got such a fright; an' — -oh, Cauth! what's that 
now ? " 

"What is it, you poor fool, you, but a customer, come at last 
into the kitchen — an' time for us to see the face o' one this 
blessed day. Get up out o' that, wid your dhrames — don't you 
hear 'em knocking? I'll stay here to put one vessel at laste to 
rights — for I see I must." 

Jeremiah arose, groaning, and entered the cabin through the 
back door. In a few seconds he hastened to his wife, more ter- 
ror-stricken than he had left her, and settling his loins against 
the low garden wall, stared at her. 



JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 1465 

"Why, then, duoul's in you, Jer Mulcahy (saints forgive me 
for cursing!) — and what's the matter wid you, at-all at-all ? " 

"They're in the kitchen," he whispered. 

"Well, an' what will they take?" 

"I spoke never a word to them, Cauth, nor they to me; — I 
couldn't — an' I won't, for a duke's ransom: I only saw thein 
stannin' together, in the dark that's coming on, behind the dour, 
an' I knew them at the first look — the tall one an' the little 
one. " 

With a flout at his dreams, and his cowardice, and his good- 
for-nothingness, the dame hurried to serve her customers. Jere- 
miah heard her loud voice addressing them, and their hoarse 
tones answering. She came out again for two pints to draw 
some beer, and commanded him to follow her and " discoorse 
the customers." He remained motionless. She returned in a 
short time, and fairly drove him before her into the house. 

He took a seat remote from his guests, with diflficulty pro- 
nouncing the ordinary words of "God save ye, genteels," which 
they bluffly and heartily answered. His glances towards them 
were also few; yet enough to inform him that they conversed 
together like friends, pledging healths and shaking hands. The 
tall sailor abruptly asked him how far it was, by the short cut, 
to a village where they proposed to pass the night — Kilbrog- 
gan ? — Jeremiah started on his seat, and his wife, after a glance 
and a grumble at him, was obliged to speak for her husband. 
They finished their beer; paid for it; put up half a loaf and a 
cut of bad watery cheese, saying that they might feel more 
hungry a few miles on than they now did; and then they arose 
to leave the cabin. Jeremiah glanced in great trouble around. 
His wife had fortunately disappeared; he snatched up his old 
hat, and with more energy than he could himself remember, ran 
forward to be a short way on the road before them. They soon 
approached him ; and then, obeying a conscientious impulse, Jere- 
miah saluted the smaller of the two, and requested to speak 
with him apart. The sailor, in evident surprise, assented. Jer 
vaguely cautioned him against going any farther that night, as 
it would be quite dark by the time he should get to the mount- 
ain pass, on the by-road to Kilbroggan. His warning was 
made light of. He grew more earnest, asserting, what was not 
the fact, that it was "a bad road," meaning one infested by 
robbers. Still the bluff tar paid no attention, and was turning 



1466 JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 

away. "Oh, sir; oh, stop, sir," resumed Jeremiah, taking great 
courage, "I have a thing to tell you;" and he rehearsed his 
dream, averring that in it he had distinctly seen the present 
object of his solicitude set upon and slain by his colossal com- 
panion. The listener paused a moment; first looking at Jer, 
and then at the ground, very gravely: bi:t the next moment 
he burst into a loud, and Jeremiah thought, frightful laugh, 
and walked rapidly to overtake his shipmate. Jeremiah, much 
oppressed, returned home. 

Towards dawn, next morning, the publican awoke in an 
ominous panic, and aroused his wife to listen to a loud knock- 
ing, and a clamor of voices at their door. She insisted that 
there was no such thing, and scolded him for disturbing her 
sleep. A renewal of the noise, however, convinced even her 
incredulity, and showed that Jeremiah was right for the first 
time in his life, at least. Both arose, and hastened to answer 
the summons. 

When they unbarred the front door, a gentleman, surrounded 
by a crowd of people of the village, stood before it. He had 
discovered on the by-road through the hills from Kilbroggan, a 
dead body, weltering in its gore, and wearing sailor's clothes; 
had ridden on in alarm; had raised the village; and some of 
its population, recollecting to have seen Mrs. Mulcahy's visitors 
of the previous evening, now brought him to her house to hear 
what she could say on the subject. 

Before she could say anything, her husband fell senseless at 
her side, groaning dolefully. While the bystanders raised him, 
she clapped her hands, and exalted her voice in ejaculations, as 
Irishwomen, when grieved or astonished or vexed, usually do; 
and now, as proud of Jeremiah's dreaming capabilities as she had 
before been impatient of them, rehearsed his vision of the mur- 
der, and authenticated the visit of the two sailors to her house, 
almost while he was in the act of making her the confidant of 
his prophetic ravings. The auditors stept back in consternation, 
crossing themselves, smiting their breasts, and crying out, ** The 
Lord save us! The Lord have mercy upon us!** 

Jeremiah slowly awoke from his swoon. The gentleman who 
had discovered the body commanded his attendants back to the 
lonesome glen, where it lay. Poor Jeremiah fell on his knees, 
and with tears streaming down his cheeks, prayed to be saved 
from such a trial. His neighbors almost forced him along. 



JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM j .g_ 

All soon gained the spot, a narrow pass between slanting piles 
of displaced rocks; the hills from which they had tumbled rising 
brown and barren and to a great height above and beyond them. 
And there, indeed, upon the strip of verdure which formed the 
winding road through the defile, lay the corpse of one of the 
sailors who had visited the publican's house the evening before. 
Again Jeremiah dropt on his knees, at some distance from 
the body, exclaiming, "Lord save us! — yes! oh, yes, neighbors, 

this is the very place! — only — the saints be good to us again! 

'twas the tall sailor I seen killing the little sailor, and here's the 
tall sailor murthered by the little sailor." 

"Dhrames go by conthraries, some way or another," observed 
one of his neighbors; and Jeremiah's puzzle was resolved. 

Two steps were now indispensable to be taken; the county 
coroner should be summoned, and the murderer sought after. 
The crowd parted to engage in both matters simultaneously. 
Evening drew on when they again met in the pass: and the first, 
who had gone for the coroner, returned with him, a distance of 
near twenty miles ; but the second party did not prove so success- 
ful. In fact they had discovered no clue to the present retreat 
of the supposed assassin. 

The coroner impaneled his jur}', and held his inquest under a 
large upright rock, bedded in the middle of the pass, such as 
Jeremiah said he had seen in his dream. A verdict of willful 
murder against the absent sailor was quickly agreed upon; but 
ere it could be recorded, all hesitated, not knowing how to indi- 
vidualize a man of whose name they were ignorant. 

The summer night had fallen upon their deliberations, and the 
moon arose in splendor, shining over the top of one of the high 
hills that inclosed the pass, so as fully to illumine the bosom of 
the other. During their pause, a man appeared standing upon the 
line of the hill thus favored by the moonlight, and every eye 
turned in that direction. He ran down the abrupt decKvity 
beneath him; he gained the continued sweep of jumbled rocks 
which immediately walled in the little valley, springing from one 
to another of them with such agility and certainty that it seemed 
almost magical; and a general whisper of fear now attested the 
fact of his being dressed in a straw hat, a short jacket, and loose 
white trousers. As he jumped from the last rock upon the sward 
of the pass, the spectators drew back; but he, not seeming to 
notice them, walked up to the corpse, which had not yet been 



1468 JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 

touched; took its hand; turned up its face into the moonlight, 
and attentively regarded the features; let the hand go; pushed 
his hat upon his forehead; glanced around him; recognized the 
person in authority; approached, and stood still before him, and 
said ** Here I am, Tom Mills, that killed long Harry Holmes, and 
there he lies.* 

The coroner cried out to secure him, now fearing that the 
man's sturdiness meant farther harm. ** No need," resumed the 
self-accused; "here's my bread-and-cheese knife, the only weapon 
about me ; '* he threw it on the ground : ** I come back just to ax 
you, commodore, to order me a cruise after poor Harry, bless his 
precious eyes, wherever he is bound." 

" You have been pursued hither ? " 

"No, bless your heart; but I wouldn't pass such another watch 
as the last twenty-four hours for all the prize-money won at Tra- 
falgar. 'Tisn't in regard of not tasting food or wetting my lips 
ever since I fell foul of Harry, or of hiding my head like a 
cursed animal o' the yearth, and starting if a bird only hopped 
nigh me: but I cannot go on living on this tack no longer; that's 
it; and the least I can say to you, Harry, my hearty." 

" What caused your quarrel with your comrade ? " 

"There was no jar or jabber betwixt us, d'you see me." 

"Not at the time, I understand you to mean; but surely you 
must have long owed him a grudge ? " 

" No, but long loved him ; and he me. " 

" Then, in heaven's name, what put the dreadful thought in 
your head ? " 

"The devil, commodore, (the horned lubber!) and another 
lubber to help him" — pointing at Jeremiah, who shrank to the 
skirts of the crowd. " I'll tell you every word of it, commodore, 
as true as a log-book. For twenty long and merry years, Harry 
and I sailed together, and worked together, thro' a hard gale 
sometimes, and thro' hot sun another .time; and never a squally 
word came between us till last night, and then it all came of 
that lubberly swipes-seller, . I say again. I thought as how it 
was a real awful thing that a strange landsman, before ever he 
laid eyes on either of us, should come to have this here dream 
about us. After falling in with Harry, when the lubber and I 
parted company, my old mate saw I was cast down, and he told 
me as much in his own gruff, well-meaning way; upon which I 
gave him the story, laughing at it. He didn't laugh in return, 



JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 1469 

but grew glum — glummer than I ever seed him; and I wondered, 
and fell to boxing about my thoughts, more and more (deep sea 
sink that cursed thinking and thinking, say I! — it sends many 
an honest fellow out of his course); and * It's hard to know the 
best man's mind,> I thought to myself. Well, we came on the 
tack into these rocky parts, and Harry says to me all on a sud- 
den, <Tom, try the soundings here, ahead, by yourself — or let 
me, by myself.' I axed him why? <No matter,' says Harry 
again, <but after what you chawed about, I don't like your com- 
pany any farther, till we fall in again at the next village.* 
<What, Harry,* I cries, laughing heartier than ever, <are you 
afeard of your own mind with Tom Mills?* 'Pho,* he made 
answer, walking on before me, and I followed him. 

«*Yes,* I kept saying to myself, *he is afeard of his own 
mind with his old shipmate.* 'Twas a darker night than this, 
and when I looked ahead, the devil (for I know 'twas he that 
boarded me!) made me take notice what a good spot it was for 
Harry to fall foul of me. And then I watched him making way 
before me, in the dark, and couldn't help thinking he was the 
better man of the two — a head and shoulders over me, and a 
match for any two of my inches. And then again, I brought to 
mind that Harr}' would be a heavy purse the better of sending 
me to Davy's locker, seeing we had both been just paid off, and 
got a lot of prize-money to boot; — and at last (the real red 
devil having fairly got me helm a-la^board) I argufied with 
myself that Tom Mills would be as well alive, with Harry 
Holmes's luck in his pocket, as he could be dead, and his in 
Harry Holmes's; not to say nothing of taking one's own part, 
just to keep one's self afloat, if so be Harr>' let his mind run as 
mine was running. 

« All this time Harry never gave me no hail, but kept tack- 
ing through these cursed rocks;' and that, and his last words, 
made me doubt him more and more. At last he stopped nigh 
where he now lies, and sitting with his back to that high stone, 
he calls for my blade to cut the bread and cheese he had got at 
the village; and while he spoke I believed he looked glummer 
and glummer, and that he wanted the blade, the only one 
between us, for some'at else than to cut bread and cheese; 
though now I don't believe no such thing howsumdever; but then 
I did: and so, d'you see me, commodore, I lost ballast all of a 
sudden, and when he stretched out his hand for the blade (hell's 



I470 JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 

fire blazing up in my lubberly heart!) — 'Here it is, Harry,* saj's 
I, and I gives it to him in the side! — once, twice, in the right 
place ! " (the sailor's voice, hitherto calm, though broken and 
rugged, now rose into a high, wild cadence) — " and then how 
we did grapple! and sing out one to another! ahoy! yeho! aye; 
till I thought the whole crew of devils answered our hail from 
the hill-tops! — But I hit you again and again, Harry! before 
you could master me," continued the sailor, returning to the 
corpse, and once more taking its hand — "until at last you 
struck, — my old messmate! — And now — nothing remains for 
Tom Mills — but to man the yard-arm!" 

The narrator stood his trial at the ensuing assizes, and was 
executed for this avowed murder of his shipmate; Jeremiah 
appearing as a principal witness. Our story may seem drawn 
either from imagination, or from mere village gossip: its chief 
acts rest, however, upon the authority of members of the Irish 
bar, since risen to high professional eminence; and they can 
even vouch that at least Jeremiah asserted the truth of " The 
Publican's Dream." 



T 



AILLEEN 

IS not for love of gold I go, 

'Tis not for love of fame; 
Tho' Fortune should her smile bestow, 
And I may win a name, 

Ailleen, 
And I may win a name. 



And yet it is for gold I go, 
And yet it is for fame, — 

That they may deck another brow 
And bless another name, 

Ailleen, 
And bless another name. 

For this, but this, I go — for this 

I lose thy love awhile; 
And all the soft and quiet bliss 

Of thy young, faithful smile, 
Ailleen, 

Of thy young, faithful smile. 



JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM j.^j 

And I go to brave a world I hate 

And woo it o'er and o'er, 
And tempt a wave and try a fate 

Upon a stranger shore, 

Ailleen. 

Upon a stranger shore. 

Oh ! when the gold is wooed and won, 

I know a heart will care ! 
Oh! when the bays are all my own, 

I know a brow shall wear, 
Ailleen, 

I know a brow shall wear. 

And when, with both returned again, 

My native land to see, 
I know a smile will meet me there 

And a hand will welcome me, 
Ailleen, 

And a hand will welcome me! 



SOGGARTH AROON 
(« O Priest, O Love ! ») 
THE IRISH peasant's ADDRESS TO HIS PRIEST 

AM I the slave they say, 
Soggarth Aroon ? 
Since you did show the way, 
Soggarth Aroon, 
Their slave no more to be, 
While they would work with me 
Ould Ireland's slavery, 
Soggarth Aroon ? 

Why not her poorest man, 

Soggarth Aroon, 
Try and do all he can, 

Soggarth Aroon, 
Her commands to fulfill 
Of his own heart and will, 
Side by side with you still, 

Soggarth Aroon ? 



,472 JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 

Loyal and brave to you, 

Soggarth Aroon, 
Yet be no slave to you, 
Soggarth Aroon, 
Nor out of fear to yoi: 
Stand up so near to you — 
Och ! out of fear to you ! 
Soggarth Aroon! 

Who, in the winter's night, 

Soggarth Aroon, 
When the cowld blast did bite. 

Soggarth Aroon, 
Came to my cabin door, 
And on my earthen floor 
Knelt by me, sick and poor, 
Soggarth Aroon ? 

Who, on the marriage day, 

Soggarth Aroon, 
Made the poor cabin gay, 

Soggarth Aroon ; 
And did both latigh and sing. 
Making our hearts to ring, 
At the poor christening, 
Soggarth Aroon ? 

Who, as friend only met, 

Soggarth Aroon, 
Never did flout me yet, 
Soggarth Aroon ? 
And when my hearth was dim 
Gave, while his eye did brim, 
What I should give to him, 
Soggarth Aroon ? 

Och ! you, and only you, 

Soggarth Aroon ! 
And for this I was true to you 

Soggarth Aroon; 
In love they'll never shake 
When for ould Ireland's sake 
We a true part did take, 
Soggarth Aroon ! 



JOHN AND MICHAEL BANIM 



THE IRISH MAIDEN'S SONG 

YOU know it now — it is betrayed 
This moment in mine eye, 
And in my young cheeks' crimson shade, 
And in my whispered sigh. 
You know it now — yet listen now — 
Though ne'er was love more true, 
My plight and troth and virgin vow 
Still, still I keep from you. 
Ever ! 

Ever, until a proof you give 

How oft you've heard me say, 
I would not even his empress live 

Who idles life away, 
Without one effort for the land 

In which my fathers' graves 
Were hollowed by a despot hand 

To darkly close on slaves — 
Never! 

See! round yourself the shackles hang, 

Yet come you to love's bowers, 
That only he may soothe their pang 

Or hide their links in flowers — 
But try all things to snap them first. 

And should all fail when tried, 
The fated chain you cannot burst 

My twining arms shall hide — 
Ever! 



M73 



311-93 



1474 



THEODORE DE BANVILLE 

(1823-1891) 




5h^odore Faullain de Banville is best known as a very 
skillful maker of polished artificial verse. His poetry stands 
high ; but it is the poetry not of nature, but of elegant 
society. His muse, as Mr. Henley says, is always in evening dress. 
References to the classic poets are woven into all of his descriptions 
of nature. He is distinguished, scholarly, full of taste, and brilliant 
in execution; never failing in propriety, and never reaching inspira- ' 
tion. As an artist in words and cadences he has few superiors. 

These qualities are partly acquired, and 
partly the result of birth. Born in 1823, 
the son of a naval officer, from his earliest 
years he devoted himself to literature. His 
birthplace, Moulins, an old provincial town 
on the banks of the Allier, where he spent 
a happy childhood, made little impression 
on him. Still almost a child he went to 
Paris, where he led a life without events, — 
without even a marriage or an election to 
the Academy; he died March 13th, 1891. 
His place was among the society people 
and the artists; the painter Courbet and 
the writers Miirger, Baudelaire, and Gautier 
were among his closest friends. He first 
8 by the publication of a volume of verse, 
*The Caryatids.* In 1857 came another, < Odes Funambulesque,* 
and later another series under the same title, the two together con- 
taining his best work in verse. Here he stands highest; though 
he wrote also many plays, one of which, 'Gringoire,* has been acted 
in various translations. < The Wife of Socrates* also holds the stage. 
Like his other work, his drama is artificial, refined, and skillful. He 
presents a marked instance of the artist working for art's sake. 
During the latter years of his life he wrote mostly prose, and he has 
left many well-drawn portraits of his contemporaries, in addition to 
several books of criticism, with much color and charm, but little 
definiteness. He was always vague, for facts did not interest him ; but 
he had the power of making his remote, unreal world attractive, and 
among the writers of the school of Gautier he stands among the first. 




De Banville 



attracted attention in i? 



THEODORE DE BANVILLE 14^5 

LE CAF6 

From <The Soul of Paris > 

IMAGINE a place where yoii do not endure the norror of being 
alone, and yet have the freedom of solitude. There, free 

from the dust, the boredom, the vulgarities of a household, 
you reflect at ease, comfortably seated before a table, unincum- 
bered by all the things that oppress you in houses; for if useless 
objects and papers had accumulated here they would have been 
promptly removed. You smoke slowly, quietly, like a Turk, fol- 
lowing your thoughts among the blue curves. 

If you have a voluptuous desire to taste some warm or 
refreshing beverage, well-trained waiters bring it to you immedi- 
ately. If you feel like talking with clever men who will not 
bully you, you have within reach light sheets on which are printed 
winged thoughts, rapid, written for you, which you are not forced 
to bind and preserve in a library when they have ceased to 
please you. This place, the paradise of civilization, the last and 
inviolable refuge of the free man, is the cafe. 

It is the cafe; but in the ideal, as we dream it, as it ought to 
be. The lack of room and the fabulous cost of land on the 
boulevards of Paris make it hideous in actuality. In these little 
boxes — of which the rent is that of a palace — one would be 
foolish to look for the space of a vestiary. Besides, the walls 
are decorated with stovepipe hats and overcoats hung on clothes- 
pegs — an abominable sight, for which atonement is offered by 
multitudes of white panels and ignoble gilding, imitations made 
by economical process. 

And (let us not deceive ourselves) the overcoat, with which 
one never knows what to do, and which makes us worry every- 
where, — in society, at the theatre, at balls,- — is the great enemy 
and the abominable enslavement of modern life. Happy the 
gentlemen of the age of Louis XIV., who in the morning dressed 
themselves for all day, in satin and velvet, their brows protected 
by wigs, and who remained superb even when beaten by the 
storm, and who, moreover, brave as lions, ran the risk of pneu- 
monia even if they had to put on, one outside the other, the 
innumerable waistcoats of Jodelet in * Les Precieuses Ridicules ' ' 

"How shall I find my overcoat and my wife's party cape?" is 
the great and only cry, the Hamlet-monologue of the modern 
man, that poisons every minute of his life and makes him look 



1476 



THEODORE DE BANVILLE 



with resignation toward his dying hour. On the morning after 
a ball given by Marshal MacMahon nothing is found: the over- 
coats have disappeared; the satin cloaks, the boas, the lace scarfs 
have gone up in smoke ; and the women must rush in despair 
through the driving snow while their husbands try to button 
their evening coats, which will not button ! 

One evening, at a party given by the wife of the President 
of the Chamber of Deputies, at which the gardens were lighted 
by electricity, Gambetta suddenly wished to show some of his 
guests a curiosity, and invited them to go down with him into 
the bushes. A valet hastened to hand him his overcoat, but the 
guests did not dare to ask for theirs, and followed Gambetta as 
they were! However, I believe one or two of them survived. 

At the cafd no one carries off your overcoat, no one hides it; 
but they are all hung up, spread out on the wall like master- 
pieces of art, treated as if they were portraits of Mona Lisa or 
Violante, and you have them before your eyes, you see them con- 
tinually. Is there not reason to curse the moment your eyes 
first saw the light ? One may, as I have said, read the papers ; 
or rather one might read them if they were not hung on those 
abominable racks, which remove them a mile from you and force 
you to see them on your horizon. 

As to the drinks, give up all hope; for the owner of the cafd 
has no proper place for their preparation, and his rent is so enor- 
mous that he has to make the best even of the quality he sells. 
But aside from this reason, the drinks could not be good, because 
there are too many of them. The last thing one finds at these 
coffee-houses is coffee. It is delicious, divine, in those little Ori- 
ental shops where it is made to order for each drinker in a spe- 
cial little pot. As to syrups, how many are there in Pans ? In 
what inconceivable place can they keep the jars containing the 
fruit juices needed to make them ? A few real ladies, rich, well- 
born, good housekeepers, not reduced to slavery by the great 
shops, who do not roiige or paint their cheeks, still know how to 
make in their own homes good syrups from the fruit of their 
gardens and their vineyards. But they naturally do not give 
them away or sell them to the keepers of caf^s, but keep them 
to gladden their flaxen-haired children. 

Such as it is, — with its failings and its vices, even a full cen- 
tury after the fame of Procope, — the caf6, which we cannot drive 
out of our memories, has been the asylum and the refuge of 
many charming spirits. The old Tabourey, who, after having 



THEODORE DE BANVILLE 1477 

been illustrious, now has a sort of half popularity and a pewter 
bar, formerly heard the captivating conversations of Barbey and 
of Aurevilly, who were rivals in the noblest salons, and who 
sometimes preferred to converse seated before a marble table in 
a hall from which one could see the foUage and the flowers of 
the Luxembourg. Baudelaire also talked there, with his clear 
caressing voice dropping diamonds and precious stones, like the 
princess of the fairy tale, from beautiful red, somewhat thick Ups. 
A problem with no possible solution holds in check the writers 
and the artists of Paris. When one has worked hard all day it is 
pleasant to take a seat, during the short stroll that precedes the 
dinner, to meet one's comrades and talk with them of everything 
but politics. The only favorable place for these necessary acci- 
dental meetings is the cafe; but is the game worth the candle, 
or, to speak more exactly, the blinding gas-jets ? Is it worth 
while, for the pleasure of exchanging words, to accept criminal 
absinthe, unnatural bitters, tragic vermouth, concocted in the 
sombre laboratories of the cafes by frightful parasites? 

Aur^lien Scholl, who, being a fine poet and excellent writer, 
is naturally a practical man, had a pleasing idea. He wished 
that the reunions in the cafes might continue at the absinthe 
hour, but without the absinthe! A very honest man, chosen for 
that purpose, would pour out for the passers-by, in place of every- 
thing else, excellent claret with quinquina, which would have the 
double advantage of not poisoning them and of gfiving them 
a wholesome and comforting drink. But this seductive dream 
could never be realized. Of course, honest men exist in great 
numbers, among keepers of cafes as well as in other walks of 
life; but the individual honest man could not be found who 
would be willing to pour out quinquina wine in which there was 
both quinquina and wine. 

In the Palais Royal there used to be a cafd which had 
retained Empire fittings and oil lamps. One found there real 
wine, real coffee, real milk, and good beefsteaks. Roqueplan, 
Ars^ne Houssaye, Michel Levy, and the handsome Fiorentino 
used to breakfast there, and they knew how to get the best 
mushrooms. The proprietor of the cafd had said that as soon 
as he could no longer make a living by selling genuine articles, 
he would not give up his stock in trade to another, but would 
sell his furniture and shut up shop. He kept his word. He 
was a hero. 



1478 



THEODORE DE BANVILLE 



BALLADE ON THE MYSTERIOUS HOSTS OF THE FOREST 
From <The Caryatids > 

STILL sing the mocking fairies, as of old, 
Beneath the shade of thorn and holly-tree ; 
The west wind breathes upon them pure and cold, 
And still wolves dread Diana roving free. 
In secret woodland with her company. 
'Tis thought the peasants' hovels know her rite 
When now the wolds are bathed in silver light. 

And first the moonrise breaks the dusky gray; 
Then down the dells, with blown soft hair and bright. 
And through the dim wood, Dian thrids her way. 

With water-weeds twined in their locks of gold 
The strange cold forest-fairies dance in glee; 

Sylphs over-timorous and over-bold 

Haunt the dark hollows where the dwarf may be, 
The wild red dwarf, the nixies' enemy: 

Then, 'mid their mirth and laughter and affright, 

The sudden goddess enters, tall and white. 

With one long sigh for summers passed away; 

The swift feet tear the ivy nets outright. 

And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way. 

She gleans her sylvan trophies; down the wold 
She hears the sobbing of the stags that flee. 

Mixed with the music of the hunting rolled, 
But her delight is all in archery. 
And naught of ruth and pity wotteth she 

More than the hounds that follow on the flight; 

The tall nymph draws a golden bow of might. 
And thick she rains the gentle shafts that slay; 

She tosses loose her locks upon the night. 

And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way. 

Envoi 

Prince, let us leave the din, the dust, the spite. 

The gloom and glare of towns, the plague, the blight; 

Amid the forest leaves and fountain spray 
There is the mystic home of our delight. 

And through the dim wood Dian thrids her way. 

Translation of Andrew Lang. 



THfiODORE DE BANVILLE j^y^ 



AUX ENFANTS PERDUS 

I KNOW Cythera long is desolate ; 
I know the winds have stripped the garden green. 
Alas, my friends! beneath the fierce sun's weight 

A barren reef lies where Love's flowers have been, 

Nor ever lover on that coast is seen! 
So be it, for we seek a fabled shore. 
To lull our vague desires with mystic lore, 

To wander where Love's labyrinths beguile ; 
There let us land, there dream for evermore, 

"It may be we shall touch the happy isle.** 

The sea may be our sepulchre. If Fate, 

If tempests wreak their wrath on us, serene 
We watch the bolt of Heaven, and scorn the hate 

Of angry gods that smite us in their spleen. 

Perchance the jealous mists are but the screen 
That veils the fairy coast we would explore. 
Come, though the sea be vexed, and breakers roar. 

Come, for the breath of this old world is vile, 
Haste we, and toil, and faint not at the oar; 

"It may be we shall touch the happy isle.** 

Gray serpents trail in temples desecrate 

Where Cypris smiled, the golden maid, the queen, 

And ruined is the palace of our state ; 

But happy loves flit round the mast, and keen 
The shrill winds sings the silken cords between. 

Heroes are we, with wearied hearts and sore, 

Whose flower is faded and whose locks are hoar. 
Haste, ye light skiffs, where myrtle thickets smile 

Love's panthers sleep 'mid roses, as of yore : 
«It may be we shall touch the happy isle.** 

Envoi 

Sad eyes! the blue sea laughs as heretofore. 
Ah, singing birds, your happy music pour; 

Ah, poets, leave the sordid earth awhile; 
Flit to these ancient gods we still adore : 

"It may be we shall touch the happy isle.** 

Translation of Andrew Lang. 



^480 THEODORE DE BANVILLE 



BALLADE DES PENDUS 

WHERE wide the forest bows are spread, 
Where Flora wakes with sylph and fay, 
Are crowns and garlands of men dead, 
All golden in the morning gay; 
Within this ancient garden gray 

Are clusters such as no man knows, 
Where Moor and Soldan bear the sway: 
This is King Louis's orchard close! 

These wretched folk wave overhead. 

With such strange thoughts as none may say; 
A moment still, then sudden sped. 

They swing in a ring and waste away. 
The morning smites them with her ray; 

They toss with every breeze that blows. 
They dance where fires of dawning play: 

This is King Louis's orchard close ! 

All hanged and dead, they've summoned 

(With Hell to aid, that hears them pray) 
New legions of an army dread. 

Now down the blue sky flames the day; 
The dew dies off; the foul array 

Of obscene ravens gathers and goes, 
With wings that flap and beaks that flay: 

This is King Louis's orchard close! 

Envoi 

Prince, where leaves murmur of the May, 

A tree of bitter clusters grows; 
The bodies of men dead are they! 

This is King Louis's orchard close! 

Translation of Andrew Lang. 



I48I 




ANNA L/ETITIA BARBAULD 

(1743-1825) 

^HEN Laetitia Aikin Barbauld was about thirty years old, her 
friend, Mrs. Elizabeth Montague, wishing to establish a col- 
lege for women, asked her to be its principal. In her letter 
of refusal Mrs. Barbauld said: — « A kind of Academy for ladies, where 
they are to be taught in a regular manner the various branches of 
science, appears to me better calculated to form such characters as 
the Pre'cieuscs or Femincs Savaiitcs than good wives or agreeable com- 
panions. The very best way for a woman to acquire knowledge is 
from conversation with a father or brother. 
. . . The thefts of knowledge in our sex 
are only connived at while carefully con- 
cealed, and if displayed are punished with 
disgrace." It is odd to find Mrs. Barbauld 
thus reflecting the old-fashioned view of 
the capacity and requirements of her own 
sex, for she herself belonged to that brill- 
iant group — Hannah More, Fanny Burney, 
Maria Edgeworth, Jane Austen, Joanna Bail- 
lie, Mary Russell Mitford — who were the 
living refutation of her inherited theories. 
Their influence shows a pedagogic impulse 
to present morally helpful ideas to the pub- 
lic. From preceding generations whose 

lives had been concentrated upon household affairs, these women 
pioneers had acquired the strictly practical bent of mind which 
comes out in all their verse, as in all their prose. 

The child born at Kibworth Harcourt, Leicestershire, a century 
and a half ago,, became one of the first of these pleasant writers for 
young and old. She was one of the thousand refutations of the 
stupid popular idea that precocious children never amount to any- 
thing. When only two, she "could read roundly without spelling, 
and in half a year more could read as well as most women." Her 
father was master of a boys' school, where her childhood was passed 
under the rule of a loving but austere mother, who disliked all 
intercourse with the pupils for her daughter. It was not the fash- 
ion for women to be highly educated ; but, stimulated perhaps by the 
scholastic atmosphere, Laetitia implored her father for a classica! 




Anna L. Barbauld 



1482 



ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD 



training, until, against his judgment, he allowed her to study Greek 
and Latin as well as French and Italian. Though not fond of the 
housewifely accomplishments insisted upon by Mrs. Aikin, the eager 
student also cooked and sewed with due obedience. 

Her dull childhood ended when she was fifteen, for then her 
father accepted a position as classical tutor in a boys' school at 
Warrington, Lancashire, to which place the family moved. The new 
home afforded greater freedom and an interesting circle of friends, 
among them Currie, William Roscoe, John Taylor, and the famous 
Dr. Priestley. A very pretty girl, with brilliant blonde coloring and 
animated dark-blue eyes, she was witty and vivacious, too, under 
the modest diffidence to which she had been trained. Naturally she 
attracted much admiration from the schoolboys and even from their 
elders, but on the whole she seems to have found study and writing 
more interesting than love affairs. The first suitor, who presented 
himself when she was about sixteen, was a farmer from her early 
home at Kibworth. He stated his wishes to her father. " She is in 
the garden,*' said Mr. Aikin. "You may ask her yourself." Lastitia 
was not propitious, but the young man was persistent, and the posi- 
tion grew irksome. So the nimble girl scrambled into a convenient 
tree, and escaped her rustic wooer by swinging herself down upon 
the other side of the garden wall. 

During these years at Warrington she wrote for her own pleas- 
ure, and when her brother John returned home after several years' 
absence, he helped her to arrange and publish a selection of her 
poems. The little book which appeared in 1773 was highly praised, 
and ran through four editions within a year. In spite of grace and 
fluency, most of these verses seem flat and antiquated to the modern 
reader. Of the spirited first poem < Corsica,' Dr. Priestley wrote to 
her: — "I consider that you are as much a general as Tyrtasus was, 
and your poems (which I am confident are much better than his ever 
were) may have as great effect as his. They may be the coup de grace 
to the French troops in that island, and Paoli, who reads English, 
will cause it to be printed in every history in that renowned island." 

Miss Aikin's next venture was a small volume in collaboration 
with, her brother, 'Miscellaneous Pieces in Prose by J. and A. L. 
Aikin.' This too was widely read and admired. Samuel 'Rogers has 
related an amusing conversation about the book in its first vogue: — 
<*I am greatly pleased with your 'Miscellaneous Pieces,'" said Charles 
James Fox to Mrs. Barbauld's brother. Dr. Aikin bowed. <<I par- 
ticularly admire," continued Fox, "your essay 'Against Inconsistency 
in our Expectations.'" "That," replied Aikin, "is my sister's." "I 
like much," continued Fox, "your essay on 'Monastic Institutions.'" 
<'That." answered Aikin, "is also my sister's." Fox thought it wise 



ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD 1 483 

to say no more about the book. The essay < Against Inconsistency 
in our Expectations* was most highly praised by the critics, and pro 
nounced by Mackintosh "the best short essay in the language." 

When thirty years old, Laetitia Aikin married Rochemont Bar- 
bauld, and went to live at Palgrave in Suffolk, where her husband 
opened a boys' school, soon made popular by her personal charm and 
influence. Sir William Gell, a classic topographer still remembered; 
William Taylor, author of a < Historic Survey of German Poetry'; 
and Lord Chief Justice Denman, were a few among the many who 
looked back with gratitude to a childhood under her care. 

Perhaps her best known work is the < Early Lessons for Children,* 
which was written during this period. Coming as it did when, as 
Hannah More said, there was nothing for children to read between 
< Cinderella > and the Spectator, it was largely welcomed, and has 
been used by generations of English children. The lessons were 
written for a real little Charles, her adopted son, the child of her 
brother. Dr. Aikin. For him, too, she wrote her < Hymns in Prose 
for Children,* a book equally successful, which has been translated 
into French, German, Spanish, Italian, and even Latin. 

After eleven busy years at Palgrave, during which, in spite of her 
cheerful energy, Mrs. Barbauld had been much harassed by the nerv- 
ous irritability of her invalid husband, the Barbaulds gave up their 
school and treated themselves to a year of Continental travel. On 
their return they settled at Hampstead, where Mr. Barbauld became 
pastor of a small Unitarian congregation. The nearness to London 
was a great advantage to Mrs. Barbauld's refreshed activity, and she 
soon made the new home a pleasant rendezvous for literary men and 
women. At one of her London dinner parties she met Sir Walter 
Scott, who declared that her reading of Taylor's translation of Biir- 
ger's * Lenore * had inspired him <■?• write pcetry. She met Dr. John- 
son too, who, though he railed at her after his fashion, calling her 
Deborah and Virago Barbauld, did sometimes betray a sincere admi- 
ration for her character and accomplishments. Miss Edgeworth and 
Hannah More were dear friends and regular correspondents. 

From time to time she published a poem or an essay; not many, 
■for in spite of her brother's continual admonition to write, hers was 
a somewhat indolent talent. In 1790 she wrote a capable essay upon 
the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts; a year later, a poetical 
epistle to Mr. Wilberforce on the Slave Trade; in 1792, a defense of 
Public Worship; and in 1793, a discourse as to a Fast Day upon the 
Sins of Government. 

In 1808 her husband's violent death, the result of a long insanity, 
prostrated her for a time. Then as a diversion from morbid thought 
she undertook an edition of the best English novels in fifty volumes. 



1484 



ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD 



for which she wrote an admirable introductory essay. She also 
made a compilation from the Spectator, Tatler, Guardian, and Free- 
holder, with a preliminary discourse, which she published in 181 1. 
It was called * The Female Speaker,' and intended for young women. 
The same year her * Eighteen Hundred and Eleven,' a patriotic di- 
dactic poem, wounded national self-love and drew upon her much 
unfriendly criticism, which so pained her that she would publish no 
more. But the stirring lines were widely read, and in them Macaulay 
found the original of his famous traveler from New Zealand, who 
meditates on the ruined arches of London Bridge. Her prose style, 
in its light philosophy, its humorously sympathetic dealing with 
every-day affairs, has been often compared with Addison's. 

Her old age was serene and happy, rich in intellectual companion- 
ships and in the love and respect of many friends. Somewhere she 
speaks of " that state of middling life to which I have been accus- 
tomed and which I love." She disliked extremes, in emotion as in all 
things, and took what came with cheerful courage. The poem <Life,* 
which the self-satisfied Wordsworth wished that he had written, ex- 
presses her serene and philosophic spirit. 



AGAINST INCONSISTENCY IN OUR EXPECTATIONS 

As MOST of the tinhappiness in the world arises rather from 
disappointed desires than from positive evil, it is of the 
utmost consequence to attain just notions of the laws and 
order of the imiverse, that w^e may not vex ourselves with fruit- 
less wishes, or give way to groundless and unreasonable discon- 
tent. The laws of natural philosophy, indeed, are tolerably 
understood and attended to; and though we may suffer incon- 
veniences, we are seldom disappointed in consequence of them. 
No man expects to preserve orange-trees in the open air through 
an English winter; or when he has planted an acorn, to see it 
become a large oak in a few months. The mind of man naturally 
yields to necessity; and our wishes soon subside when we see the 
impossibility of their being gratified. 

Now, \ipon an accurate inspection, we shall find in the moral 
government of the world, and the order of the intellectual system, 
laws as determinate, fixed, and invariable as any in Newton's 
*Principia.' The progress of vegetation is not more certain than 
the growth of habit; nor is the power of attraction more clearly 
proved than the force of affection or the influence of example. 



ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD 1 485 

The man, therefore, who has well studied the operations of 
nature in mind as well as matter, will acquire a certain modera- 
tion and equity in his claims upon Pro\adence. He never will 
be disappointed either in himself or others. He will act with 
precision; and expect that effect and that alone, from his efforts, 
which they are nattirally adapted to produce. 

For want of this, men of merit and integrity often censure 
the dispositions of Providence for suffering characters they despise 
to run away with advantages which, they yet know, are pur- 
chased by such means as a high and noble spirit could never 
submit to. If you refuse to pay the price, why expect the pur- 
chase ? We should consider this world as a great mart of com- 
merce, where fortune exposes to our view various commodities, — 
riches, ease, tranquillity, fame, integrity, knowledge. Everything 
is marked at a settled price. Our time, our labor, our ingenuity, 
is so much ready money which we are to lay out to the best 
advantage. Examine, compare, choose, reject; but stand to your 
own judgment: and do not, like children, when you have pur- 
chased one thing, repine that you do not possess another which 
you did not purchase. Such is the force of well-regulated 
industry, that a steady and vigorous exertion of our faculties, 
directed to one end, will generally insure success. 

Would you, for instance, be rich: Do you think that single 
point worth the sacrificing everything else to ? You may then 
be rich. Thousands have become so from the lowest beginnings, 
by toil, and patient diligence, and attention to the minutest 
article of expense and profit. But you must give up the pleas- 
ures of leisure, of a vacant mind, of a free, unsuspicious temper. 
If you preserve your integrity, it must be a coarse-spun and 
vulgar honesty. Those high and lofty notions of morals which 
you brought with you from the schools must be considerably 
lowered, and mixed with the baser alloy of a jealous and 
worldly-minded prudence. You must learn to do hard if not 
unjust things; and for the nice embarrassments of a delicate and 
ingenuous spirit, it is necessary for you to get rid of them as 
fast as possible. You must shut your heart against the Muses, 
and be content to feed your understanding with plain, household 
truths. In short, you must not attempt to enlarge your ideas, 
or polish your taste, or refine your sentiments; but must keep 
on in one beaten track, without turning aside either to the right 
hand or to the left. "But I cannot submit to drudgery like this: 



ij86 anna l^titia barbauld 

I feel a spirit above it." 'Tis well: be above it then; only do 
not repine that you are not rich. 

Is knowledge the pearl of price ? That too may be purchased 
— by steady application, and long solitary hours of study and 
reflection. Bestow these, and you shall be wise. " But " (says 
the man of letters) " what a hardship is it that many an illiter- 
ate fellow who cannot construe the motto of the arms on his 
coach, shall raise a fortune and make a figure, while I have 
little more than the common conveniences of life." Et tibi magni 
satis! — Was it in order to raise a fortune that you consumed 
the sprightly hours of youth in study and retirement ? Was it 
to be rich that you grew pale over the midnight lamp, and dis- 
tilled the sweetness from the Greek and Roman spring ? You 
have then mistaken your path, and ill employed your industry. 
** What reward have I then for all my labors ? " What reward ! 
A large, comprehensive soul, well purged from vulgar fears and 
perturbations and prejudices; able to comprehend and interpret 
the works of man — of God. A rich, flourishing, cultivated 
mind,' pregnant with inexhaustible stores of entertainment and 
reflection. A perpetual spring of fresh ideas; and the conscious 
dignity of superior intelligence. Good heaven ! and what reward 
can you ask besides ? 

" But is it not some reproach upon the economy of Provi- 
dence that such a one, who is a mean, dirty fellow, should have 
amassed wealth enough to buy half a nation ? " Not in the least. 
He made himself a mean, dirty fellow for that very end. He has 
paid his health, his conscience, his liberty, for it; and will you 
envy him his bargain ? Will you hang your head and blush in his 
presence because he outshines you in equipage and show ? Lift 
up your brow with a noble confidence, and say to yourself, I have 
not these things, it is true; but it is because I have not sought, 
because I have not desired them; it is because I possess some- 
thing better. I have chosen my lot. I am content and satisfied. 

You are a modest man — you love quiet and independence, 
and have a delicacy and reserve in your temper which renders 
it impossible for you to elbow your way in the world, and be 
the herald of your own merits. Be content then with a modest 
retirement, with the esteem of your intimate friends, with the 
praises of a blameless heart, and a delicate, ingenuous spirit; but 
resipTi the splendid distinctions of the world to those who can 
better scramble for them. 



ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD 



1487 



The man whose tender sensibihty of conscience and strict 
regard to the rules of morality makes him scrupulous and fear- 
ful of oflfending, is often heard to complain of the disadvantages 
he lies under in every path of honor and profit. " Could I but 
get over some nice points, and conform to the practice and opin- 
ion of those about me, I might stand as fair a chance as others 
for dignities and preferment. ** And why can you not ? What 
hinders you from discarding this troublesome scrupulosity of 
yours which stands so grievously in your way ? If it be a small 
thing to enjoy a healthful mind, sound at the very core, that 
does not shrink from the keenest inspection; inward freedom 
from remorse and perturbation; unsullied whiteness and sim- 
plicity of manners; a genuine integrity, 

<' Pure in the last recesses of the mind ; >* 

if you think these advantages an inadequate recompense for 
what you resign, dismiss your scruples this instant, and be a 
slave-merchant, a parasite, or — what you please. 

" If these be motives weak, break off betimes ; ** 

and as you have not spirit to assert the dignity of virtue, be 
wise enough not to forego the emoluments of vice. 

I much admire the spirit of the ancient philosophers, in that 
they never attempted, as our moralists often do, to lower the 
tone of philosophy, and make it consistent with all the indul- 
gences of indolence and sensuality. They never thought of hav- 
ing the bulk of mankind for their disciples; but kept themselves 
as distinct as possible from a worldly life. They plainly told 
men what sacrifices were required, and what advantages they 
were which might be expected. 

«Si virtus hoc una potest dare, fortis omissis 
Hoc age deliciis . . .'* 

If you would be a philosopher, these are the terms. You must 
do thus and thus; there is no other way. If not, go and be one 
of the vulgar. 

^ __There is no one quality gives so much dignity to a character 
as consistency of conduct. Even if a man's pursuits be wrong 
and unjustifiable, yet if they are prosecuted with steadiness and 
vigor, we cannot withhold our admiration. The most character- 
istic mark of a great mind is to choose some one important 



1488 ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD 

object, and pursue it through Hfe. It was this made Caesar a 
great man. His object was ambition: he pursued it steadily; 
and was always ready to sacrifice to it every interfering passion 
or inclination. 

There is a pretty passage in one of Lucian's dialogues, where 
Jupiter complains to Cupid that though he has had so many 
intrigues, he was never sincerely beloved. In order to be loved, 
says Cupid, you must lay aside your segis and your thunder- 
bolts, and you must curl and perfume your hair, and place a 
garland on your head, and walk with a soft step, and assume a 
winning, obsequious deportment. But, replied Jupiter, I am not 
willing to resign so much of my dignity. Then, returns Cupid, 
leave off desiring to be loved. He wanted to be Jupiter and 
Adonis at the same time. 

It must be confessed that men of genius are of all others 
most inclined to make these unreasonable claims. As their relish 
for enjoyment is strong, their views large and comprehensive, 
and they feel themselves lifted above the common bulk of man- 
kind, they are apt to slight that natural reward of praise and 
admiration which is ever largely paid to distinguished abihties; 
and to expect to be called forth to public notice and favor: 
without considering that their talents are commonly very unfit 
for active life; that their eccentricity and turn for speculation 
disqualifies them for the business of the world, which is best 
carried on by men of moderate genius; and that society is not 
obliged to reward any one who is not useful to it. The poets 
have been a very unreasonable race, and have often complained 
loudly of the neglect of genius and the ingratitude of the age. 
The tender and pensive Cowley, and the elegant Shenstone, had 
their minds tinctured by this discontent; and even the sublime 
melancholy of Young was too much owing to the stings of dis- 
appointed ambition. 

The moderation we have been endeavoring to inculcate will 
likewise prevent much mortification and disgust in our commerce 
with mankind. As we ought not to wish in ourselves, so neither 
should we expect in our friends, contrary qualifications. Young 
and sanguine, when we enter the world, and feel our affections 
drawn forth by any particular excellence in a character, we imme- 
diately give it credit for all others; and are beyond measure dis- 
gusted when we come to discover, as we soon must discover, the 
defects i^ the other side of the balance. But nature is much 



ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD l^gg 

more fn:gal than to heap together all manner of shining qualities 
in one glaring mass. Like a judicious painter, she endeavors to 
preserve a certain unity of style and coloring in her pieces. 
Models of absolute perfection are only to be met with in romance; 
where exquisite beauty, and brilliant wit, and profound judgment, 
and immaculate virtue, are all blended together to adorn some 
favorite character. As an anatomist knows that the racer cannot 
have the strength and muscles of the draught-horse; and that 
winged men, griffins, and mermaids must be mere creatures of 
the imagination: so the philosopher is sensible that there are 
combinations of moral qualities which never can take place but in 
idea. There is a different air and complexion in characters as 
well as in faces, though perhaps each equally beautiful; and the 
excellences of one cannot be transferred to the other. Thus if 
one man possesses a stoical apathy of soul, acts independent of 
the opinion of the world, and fulfills every duty with mathemat- 
ical exactness, you must not expect that man to be greatly influ- 
enced by the weakness of pity, or the partialities of friendship; 
you must not be offended that he does not fly to meet vou after 
a short absence, or require from him the convivial spirit and 
honest effusions of a warm, open, susceptible heart. If another 
is remarkable for a lively, active zeal, inflexible integrity, a strong 
indignation against vice, and freedom in reproving it, he will 
probably have some little bluntness in his address not altogether 
suitable to polished life ; he will want the winning arts of conver- 
sation; he will disgust by a kind of haughtiness and negligence 
in his manner, and often hurt the delicacy of his acquaintance 
with harsh and disagreeable truths. 

We usually say — That man is a genius, but he has some 
whims and oddities — Such a one has a verj' general knowledge, 
but he is superficial, etc. Now in all such cases we should speak 
more rationally, did we substitute " therefore * for " but ** : " He 
is a genius, therefore he is whimsical ; " and the like. 

It. is the fault of the present age, owing to the freer com- 
merce that different ranks and professions now enjoy with each 
other, that characters are not marked with sufficient strength; 
the several classes run too much into one another. We have 
fewer pedants, it is true, but we have fewer striking originals. 
Every one is expected to have such a tincture of general knowl- 
edge as is incompatible with going deep into any science; and 
such a conformity to fashionable manners as checks the free 

HI— q4 



I400 ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD 

workings of the ruling passion, and gives an insipid sameness to 
the face of society, under the idea of pohsh and regularity. 

There is a cast of manners peculiar and becoming to each 
age, sex, and profession; one, therefore, should not throw out 
illiberal and commonplace censures against another. Each is 
perfect in its kind: a woman as a woman; a tradesman as a 
tradesman. We are often hurt by the brutality and sluggish con- 
ceptions of the vulgar; not considering that some there must be 
to be hewers of wood and drawers of water, and that cultivated 
genius, or even any great refinement and delicacy in their moral 
feelings, would be a real misfortune to them. 

Let us then study the philosophy of the human mind. The 
man who is master of this science will know what to expect 
from every one. From this man, wise advice; from that, cordial 
sympathy; from another, casual entertainment. The passions and 
inclinations of others are his tools, which he can use with as 
much precision as he would the mechanical powers; and he can 
as readily make allowance for the workings of vanity, or the bias 
of self-interest in his friends, as for the power of friction, or the 
irregularities of the needle. 



A DIALOGUE OF THE DEAD 

BETWEEN HELEN AND MADAME MAINTENON 

HELEN — Whence comes it, my dear Madame Maintenon, that 
beauty, which in the age I lived in produced such extraor- 
dinary effects, has now lost almost all its power ? 

Maiftte?ion — I should wish first to be convinced of the fact, 
before I offer to give you a reason for it. 

Helen — That will be very easy; for there is no occasion to 
go any further than our own histories and experience to prove 
what I advance. You were beautiful, accomplished, and fortu- 
nate; endowed with every talent and every grace to bend the 
heart of man and mold it to your wish; and your schemes were 
successful; for you raised yourself from obscurity and dependence 
to be the wife of a great monarch. — But what is this to the 
influence my beauty had over sovereigns and nations! I occas- 
ioned a long ten-years' war between the most celebrated heroes 
of antiquity; contending kingdoms disputed the honor of placing 
me on their respective thrones; my story is recorded by the 



ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD I^nj 

father of verse; and my charms make a figure even in the an- 
nals of mankind. You were, it is true, the wife of Louis XIV., 
and respected in his court, but you occasioned no wars; you are 
not spoken of in the history of France, though you furnished 
materials for the memoirs of a court. Are the love and admi- 
ration tliat were paid yoii merely as an amiable woman to be 
compared with the enthusiasm I inspired, and the boundless 
empire I obtained over all that was celebrated, great, or power- 
ful in the age I lived in ? 

Maintcnon — All this, my dear Helen, has a splendid appear- 
ance, and sounds well in a heroic poem; but you greatly deceive 
yourself if you impute it all to your personal merit. Do you 
imagine that half the chiefs concerned in the war of Troy were 
at all influenced by your beaiity, or troubled their heads what 
became of you, provided they came off with honor? Believe 
me, love had very little to do in the affair: Menelaus sought to 
revenge the affront he had received; Agamemnon was flattered 
with the supreme command; some came to share the glory, 
others the plunder; some because they had bad wives at home, 
some in hopes of getting Trojan mistresses abroad; and Homer 
thought the story extremely proper for the subject of the best 
poem in the world. Thus you became famous; your elopement 
was made a national quarrel; the animosities of both nations 
were kindled by frequent battles; and the object was not the 
restoring of Helen to Menelaus, but the destruction of Troy by 
the Greeks. — My triumphs, on the other hand, were all owing 
to myself, and to the influence of personal merit and charms over 
the heart of man. My birth was obscure; my fortunes low; I 
had past the bloom of youth, and was advancing to that period 
at which the generality of our sex lose all importance with the 
other; I had to do with a man of gallantry and intrigue, a 
monarch who had been long familiarized with beauty, and accus- 
tomed to every refinement of pleasure which the most splendid 
court in Europe could afford: Love and Beauty seemed to have 
exhausted all their powers of pleasing for him in vain. Yet this 
man I captivated, I fixed; and far from being content, as other 
beauties had been, with the honor of possessing his heart, I 
brought him to make me his wife, and gained an honorable title 
to his tenderest affection. — The infatuation of Paris reflected little 
honor upon you. A thoughtless youth, gay, tender, and impress- 
ible, struck with your beauty, in violation of all the most sacred 



1492 ANNA L^ETITIA BARBAULD 

laws of hospitality carries you off, and obstinately refuses to 
restore you to your husband. You seduced Paris from his duty, 
I recovered Louis from vice; you were the mistress of the Tro- 
jan prince, I was the companion of the French monarch. 

Helen — I grant you were the wife of Louis, but not the 
Queen of France. Your great object was ambition, and* in that 
you met with a partial success; — my ruling star was love, and I 
gave up everything for it. But tell me, did not I show my influ- 
ence over Menelaus in his taking me again after the destruction 
of Troy? 

Mai)itenon — That circumstance alone is sufficient to show that 
he did not love you with any delicacy. He took you as a posses- 
sion that was restored to him, as a booty that he had recovered; 
and he had not sentiment enough to care whether he had your 
heart or not. The heroes of your age were capable of admiring 
beauty, and often fought for the possession of it; but they had 
not refinement enough to be capable of any pure, sentimental 
attachment or delicate passion. Was that period the triumph of 
love and gallantry, when a fine woman and a tripod were placed 
together for prizes at a wrestling-bout, and the tripod esteemed 
the most valuable reward of the two? No; it is our Clelia, our 
Cassandra and Princess of Cleves, that have polished mankind 
and taught them how to love. 

Helen — Rather say you have lost sight of nature and pas- 
sion, between bombast on one hand and conceit on the other. 
Shall one of the cold temperament of France teach a Grecian 
how to love ? Greece, the parent of fair forms and soft desires, 
the nurse of poetry, whose soft climate and tempered skies dis- 
posed to every gentler feeling, and tuned the heart to harmony 
and love! — was Greece a land of barbarians? But recollect, if 
you can, an incident which showed the jjower of beauty in 
stronger colors — that when the grave old counselors of Priam 
on my appearance were struck with fond admiration, and could 
not bring themselves to blame the cause of a war that had 
almost ruined their country; — you see I charmed the old as 
well as seduced the young. 

Maintcnon — But I, after I was grown old, charmed the 
young; I was idolized in a capital where taste, luxury, and mag- 
nificence were at the height; I was celebrated by the greatest 
wits of my time, and my letters have been carefully handed 
down to posterity. 



ANNA LiETITIA BARBAULD 



1493 



Helen — Tell me now sincerely, were you happy in your ele- 
vated fortune ? 

Maintenon — Alas! Heaven knows I was far otherwise: a 
thousand times did I wish for my dear Scarron again. He was 
a very ugty fellow, it is true, and had but little money: but the 
most easy, entertaining companion in the world: we danced, 
laughed, and sung; I spoke without fear or anxiety, and was 
sure to please. With Louis all was gloom, constraint, and a 
painful solicitude to please — which seldom produces its effect; 
the king's temper had been soured in the latter part of life by 
frequent disappointments; and I was forced continually to en- 
deavor to procure him that cheerfulness which I had not myself. 
Louis was accustomed to the most delicate flatteries; and though 
I had a good share of wit, my faculties were continually on the 
stretch to entertain him, — a state of mind little consistent with 
happiness or ease ; I was afraid to advance my friends or punish 
my enemies. My pupils at vSt. Cyr were not more secluded from 
the world in a cloister than I was in the bosom of the court; a 
secret disgust and weariness consumed me. I had no relief but 
in my work and books of devotion; with these alone I had a 
gleam of happiness. 

Helen — Alas! one need not have married a great monarch for 
that. 

Maintenon — But deign to inform me, Helen, if you were 
really as beautiful as fame reports ? for to say truth, I cannot in 
your shade see the beauty which for nine long years had set the 
world in arms. 

Helen — Honestly, no : I was rather low, and something sun- 
burnt ; but I had the good fortune to please ; that was all. I 
was greatly obliged to Homer. 

Maintenon — And did you live tolerably with Menelaus after 
all your adventures ? 

Helen — As well as possible. Menelaus was a good-natured 
domestic man, and was glad to sit down and end his days in 
quiet. I persuaded him that Venus and the Fates were the cause 
of all my irregularities, which he complaisantly believed. Besides, 
I was not sorvj to return home: for to tell you a secret, Paris had 
been unfaithful to me long before his death, and was fond of a 
little Trojan brunette whose office it was to hold up my train ; 
but it was thought dishonorable to give me up. I began to think 
love a very foolish thing: I became a great housekeeper, worked 



1494 



ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD 



the battles of Troy in tapestry, and spun with my maids by the 
side of Menelaus, who was so satisfied with my conduct, and 
behaved, good man, with so much fondness, that I verily think 
this was the happiest period of my Kfe. 

Maintenon — Nothing more likely ; but the most obscure wife 
in Greece could rival you there. — Adieu! you have convinced me 
how little fame and greatness conduce to happiness. 



LIFE 

Life! I know not what thou art, 
But know that thou and I must part; 
And when or how or where we met, 
I own to me's a secret yet. 
But this I know, when thou art fled, 
Where'er they lay these limbs, this head. 
No clod so valueless shall be, 
As all that then remains of me. 
O whither, whither dost thou fly, 
Where bend unseen thy trackless course. 

And in this strange divorce, 
Ah, tell where I must seek this compound I ? 
To the vast ocean of empyreal flame. 

From whence thy essence came. 
Dost thou thy flight pursue, when freed 
From matter's base encumbering weed ? 
Or dost thou, hid from sight. 
Wait, like some spell-bound knight, 
Through blank oblivion's years th' appointed hour, 
To break thy trance and reassume thy power ? 
Yet canst thou without thought or feeling be ? 
O say what art thou, when no more thou'rt thee ? 
Life ! we've been long together, 
Through pleasant and through cloudy weather; 
'Tis hard to part when friends are de'ar; 
Perhaps 'twill cost a sigh, a tear; 
Then steal away, give little warning, 
Choose thine own time ; 
Say not good^night, but in some brighter clime 
Bid me good-morning. 



ANNA L^TITIA BARBAULD x^g^ 



PRAISE TO GOD 

PRAISE to God, immortal praise, 
For the love that crowns our days — 
Bounteous source of every joy. 
Let Thy praise our tongues employ! 

For the blessings of the field, 
For the stores the gardens yield. 
For the vine's exalted juice, 
For the generous olive's use; 

Flocks that whiten all the plain, 
Yellow sheaves of ripened grain. 
Clouds that drop their fattening dews, 
Suns that temperate warmth diffuse — 

All that Spring, with bounteous hand. 
Scatters o'er the smiling land; 
All that liberal Autumn pours 
From her rich o'erflowing stores: 

These to Thee, my God, we owe — 
Source whence all our blessings flow! 
And for these my soul shall raise 
Grateful vows and solemn praise. 

Yet should rising whirlwinds tear 
From its stem the ripening ear — 
Should the fig-tree's blasted shoot 
Drop her green untimely fruit — 

Should the vine put forth no more. 
Nor the olive yield her store — 
Though the sickening flocks should fall, 
And the herds desert the stall — 

Should Thine altered hand restrain 
The early and the latter rain, 
Blast each opening bud of joy. 
And the rising year destroy: 

Yet to Thee my soul should raise 
Grateful vows and solemn praise. 
And, when every blessing's flown. 
Love Thee — for Thyself alone. 



1496 




ALEXANDER BARCLAY 

(1475-1552) 

arclay's reputation rests upon his translation of the famous 
^» * Ship of Fools* and his original 'Eclogues.* A controversy 
■^ as to the land of his birth — an event which happened 
about the year 1475 — has lasted from his century to our own. The 
decision in favor of Scotland rests upon the testimony of two wit- 
nesses: first, Dr. William BuUim, a younger contemporary of Barclay, 
who mentions him in *A Dialogue Both Pleasaunt and Pietifull 
Wherein is a Godlie Regement Against the Fever Pestilence with a 
Consolation and Comforte Against Death,' which was published in 
1564; and secondly, Barclay himself. 

Bullim groups the Muses at the foot of Parnassus, and gathers 
about them Greek and Latin poets, and such Englishmen as Chaucer, 
Gower, Skelton, and Barclay, the latter ** with an hoopyng russet 
long coate, with a pretie hood in his necke, and five knottes upon 
his girdle, after Francis's tricks. He was borne beyond the cold 
river of Twede. He lodged upon a sweetebcd of chamomill i:nder 
the sinamone-tree : about him many shepherdes and shepe, with 
pleasaunte pipes; greatly abhorring the life of Courtiers, Citizens, 
Usurers, and Banckruptes,. etc., whose dales are miserable. And the 
estate of shepherdes and countrie people he accompted moste happie 
and sure.*' Deprived of its poetic fancy, this passage means that 
Barclay was a monk of the order of St. Francis, that he was born 
north of the Tweed, that his verse was infused with such bitterness 
and tonic qualities as camomile possesses, and that he advocated the 
cause of the country people in his independent and admirable < Ec- 
logues,* another title for the first three of which is < Miseryes of 
Courtiers and Courtes of all Princes in General.* 

Barclay was educated at Oxford and Cambridge, and upon his 
return to England after several years of residence abroad, he was 
made one of the .priests of Saint Mary Ottery, an institution of devout 
practice and learning in Devonshire. Here in 1508 was finished 
<The Shyp of Folys of the Worlde translated out of Laten, Frenche, 
and Doche into Englysshe tonge by Alexander Barclay, Preste, and 
at that time chaplen in the sayd College.* 

After his work was completed Barclay went to London, where 
his poem was « imprentyd ... in Fleet Street at the signe of 
Saynt George by Rycharde Pyreson to hys Coste and charge: ende^ 



ALEXANDER BARCLAY 



1497 



the yere of our Saviour MDIX. tho XIII. day of December." That he 
became a Benedictine and lived at the monastery of the order at 
Ely is evident from his < Eclogues.* Here he translated at the 
instance of Sir Giles Arlington, Knight, • The Myrrour of Good Man- 
ers,' from a Latin elegiac poem which Dominic Mancini published 
in the year 15 16. 

"It was about this period of his life," says Mr. Jamieson in his 
admirable edition of the < Ship of Fools,' "probably the period of 
til 2 full bloom of his popularity, that the quiet life of the poet and 
priest was interrupted by the recognition of his eminence in the 
highest quarters, and by a request for his aid in maintaining the 
honor of the country on an occasion to which the eyes of all Europe 
were then directed. In a letter to Wolsey dated loth April, 1520, 
Sir Nicholas Vaux — busied with the preparation for that meeting of 
Henry VHI. and Francis I. called the Field of the Cloth of Gold — 
begs the Cardinal to send them . . . Maistre Barkleye, the Black 
Monke and Poete, to devise histoires and convenient raisons to fior- 
isshe the buildings and banquet house withal." 

He became a Franciscan, the habit of which order Bullim refers 
to; and "sure 'tis," says Wood, "that living to see his monastery 
dissolv'd, in 1539, at the general dissolution by act of Henry VIII., 
he became vicar of Much Badew in Essex, and in 1546, the same 
year, of the Church of St. Matthew the Apostle at Wokey, in Som- 
ersetshire, and finally in 1552, the year in which he died, of that of 
All Saints, Lombard Street, London. In his younger days he was 
esteemed a good poet and orator, but when years came on, he spent 
his time mostly in pious matters, and in reading the histories of 
Saints." 

' The Ship of Fools * is the most important work associated with 
Barclay's name. It was a translation of Seljastian Brandt's ^ Stulti- 
fera Navis,* a book which had attracted universal attention on the 
Continent when it appeared in 1494. In his preface, Barclay admits 
that " it is not translated word by word according to the verses of my 
actor. For I have but only drawn into our mother tongue in rude 
language the sentences of the verses as near as the paucity of my 
wit will suffer me, sometime adding, sometime detracting and taking 
away such things as seemeth me necessary." The classes and con- 
ditions of society that Barclay knew were as deserving of satire as 
those of Germany. He tells us that his work was undertaken " to 
cleanse the vanity and madness of foolish people, of whom over great 
number is in the Realm of England." 

The diction of Barclay's version is exceptionally fine. Jamieson 
calls it "a rich and unique exhibition of early art," and says: — "Poge 
after page, even in the antique spelling of Pynson's edition, may be 



1498 



ALEXANDER BARCLAY 



read by the ordinary reader of to-day without reference to a diction- 
ary; and when reference is required, it will be found in nine cases 
out of ten that the archaism is Saxon, not Latin. This is all the 
more remarkable that it occurs in the case of a priest translating 
mainly from the Latin and French, and can only be explained with 
reference to his standpoint as a social reformer of the broadest type, 
and to his evident intention that his book should be an appeal to all 
classes, but especially to the mass of people for amendment of their 
follies. » 

As the original work belonged to the German satirist, the extract 
from the * Ship of Fools * is placed under the essay entitled * Sebastian 
Brandt.* His ^Eclogues' show Barclay at his best. They portray the 
manners and customs of the period, and are full of local proverbs 
and wise sayings. According to Warton, Barclay's are the first 
* Eclogues ' that appeared in the English language. *< They are like 
Petrarch's," he says, "and Mantuans of the moral and satirical kind; 
and contain but few touches of moral description and bucolic im- 
agery.'* Two shepherds meet to talk about the pleasures and crosses 
of rustic life and life at court. The hoary locks of the one show 
that he is old. His suit of Kendal green is threadbare, his rough 
boots are patched, and the torn side of his coat reveals a bottle never 
full and never empty. His wallet contains bread and cheese ; he has 
a crook, and an oaten pipe. His name is Cornix, and he boasts that 
he has had worldly experience. The other shepherd, Coridon, having 
seen nothing, complains of country life. He grumbles at the sum- 
mer's heat and the winter's cold ; at beds on the flinty ground, and 
the dangers of sleeping where the wolves may creep in to devour 
the sheep; of his stiff rough hands, and his parched, wrinkled, and 
weather-beaten skin. He asks whether all men are so unhappy. Cor- 
nix, refreshing himself at intervals with his bottle and crusts, shows 
him the small amount of liberty at court, discourses upon the folly 
of ambition, lays bare the rapine, avarice, and covetousness of the 
worldly-minded, and demonstrates that the court is " painted fair with- 
out, but within it is ugly and vile." He then gives the picture of 
a courtier's life, which is cited below. He tells how the minstrels 
and singers, philosophers, poets, and orators are but the slaves of 
patronizing princes; how beautiful women deceive; describes to him, 
who has known nothing but a diet of bread and cheese, the delights 
of the table; dilates on the cups of silver and gold, and the crys- 
tal glass shining with red and yellow wine; the sewers bearing 
in roasted crane, gorgeous peacocks, and savory joints of beef and 
mutton ; the carver wielding his dexterous knife ; the puddings, the 
pa.sties, the fish fried in sweet oils and garnished with herbs; the 
costumes of the men and women in cloth of gold and silver and gay 



ALEXANDER BARCLAY 



1499 



damask; the din of music, voices, laughter, and jests; and then 
paints a picture of the lords and ladies who plunge their knives into 
the meats and their hands into platters, spilling wine and gravy 
upon their equally gluttonous neighbors. He finishes by saying: — 

« Shepherds have not so wretched lives as they : 
Though they live poorely on cruddes, chese, and whey, 
On apples, plummes, and drinke cleree water deepe, 
As it were lordes reigning among their sheepe. 
The wretched lazar with clinking of his bell, 
Hath life which doth the courtiers excell; 
The caytif begger hath meate and libertie, 
When courtiers hunger in harde captivitie. 
The poore man beggeth nothing hurting his name. 
As touching courters they dare not beg for shame. 
And an olde proverb is sayde by men moste sage, 
That oft yonge courters be beggars in their age." 

The third * Eclogue ' begins with Coridon relating a dream that he 
went to court and saw the scullions standing 

" about me thicke 
With knives ready for to flay me quicke.'* 

This is a text for Cornix, who continues his tirade, and convinces 
Coridon of the misery of the court and his happier life, ending as 
follows : — 

«Than let all shepheardes, from hence to Salisbury 
With easie riches, Uve well, laugh and be mery, 
Pipe under shadowes, small riches hath most rest. 
In greatest seas moste sorest is tempest. 
The court is nought els but a tempesteous sea; 
Avoyde the rockes. Be ruled after me.» 

The fourth < Eclogue * is a dialogue on the rich man's treatment of 
poets, by two shepherds, Codrus and Menalcas, musing in "shadowe 
on the green,'* while their snowy flocks graze on the sweet meadow. 
This contains a fine allegorical description of 'Labour.* 

The fifth < Eclogue* is the * Cytezen and the Uplondyshman.* 
Here the scene changes, and two shepherds, Faustus and Amyntas, 
discourse in a cottage while the snows of January whirl without. 
Amyntas has learned in London "to go so manerly." Not a wrinkle 
may be found in his clothes, not a hair on his cloak, and he wears 
a brooch of tin high on his bonnet. He has been hostler, coster- 
monger, and taverner, and sings the delights of the city. Faustus, 
the rustic, is contented with his lot. The * Cytezen and the Uplond- 
yshinan ' was printed from the original edition of Wynkyn de Worde, 
with a preface by F. W. Fairholt, Percy Society (Vol. xxii.). 



(COO ALEXANDER BARCLAY 

Other works ascribed to Barclay are : — ' The Figure of Our Holy 
Mother Chiirch, Oppressed by the French King * ; < The Lyfe of the 
Glorious Martyr Saynt George,* translated (from Mantuan) by Alex- 
ander Barclay ; * The Lyfe of the Blessed Martyr, Saynte Thomas * ; 
< Contra Skeltonum,' in which the quarrel he had with his contem- 
porary poet, John Skelton, was doubtless continued. 

Estimates of Barclay may be found in * The Ship of Fools,* edited 
by T. H. Jamieson (1874); * Sibbald's Chronicle of Scottish Poetry,' 
from the thirteenth century to the union of the crowns (1802); *The 
History of English Poetry,' by Thomas Warton (1824); < The History 
of Scottish Poetry,' by David Irving (1861); and 'Chips from a Ger- 
man Workshop,' by F. Max Miiller (1870). 



THE COURTIER'S LIFE 

Second Eclogue 

CORNIX 

SOME men deliteth beholding men to fight. 
Or goodly knights in pleasaunt apparayle. 
Or ^turdie soldiers in bright harnes and male, 
Or an army arrayde ready to the warre, 
Or to see them fight, so that he stand afarre. 
Some glad is to see those ladies beauteous 
Goodly appoynted in clothing sumpteous : 
A number of people appoynted in like wise 
In costly clothing after the newest gise, 
Sportes, disgising, fayre coursers mount and praunce, 
Or goodly ladies and knightes sing and daunce. 
To see fayre houses and curious picture. 
Or pleasaunt hanging or sumpteous vesture 
Of silke, of purpure or golde moste oriente, 
And other clothing divers and excellent, 
Hye curious buildinges or palaces royall. 
Or chapels, temples fayre and substantial. 
Images graven or vaultes curious, 
Gardeyns and medowes, or place delicious, 
Forestes and parkes well furnished with dere, 
Cold pleasaunt streams or welles fayre and clere, 
Curious cundites or shadowie mountaynes, 
Swete pleasaunt valleys, laundes or playnes, 
Houndes, and such other things manyfolde 
Some men take pleasour and solace to beholde. 



ALEXANDER BARCLAY 

But all these pleasoures be much more jocounde, 

To private persons which not to court be bounde, 

Than to such other whiche of necessitie 

Are bounde to the court as in captivitie ; 

For they which be bounde to princes without fayle 

When they must nedes be present in battayle, 

When shall they not be at large to see the sight, 

But as souldiours in the middest of the fight, 

To runne here and there sometime his foe to smite, 

And oftetimes wounded, herein is small delite, 

And more muste he think his body to defende. 

Than for any pleasour about him to intende, 

And oft is he faynt and beaten to the grounde, 

I trowe in suche sight small pleasour may be founde. 

As for fayre ladies, clothed in silke and golde. 

In court at thy pleasour thou canst not beholde. 

At thy princes pleasour thou shalt them only see. 

Then suche shalt thou see which little set by thee, 

Whose shape and beautie may so inflame thine heart. 

That thought and languor may cause thee for to smart. 

For a small sparcle may kindle love certayne. 

But skantly Severne may quench it clene againe; 

And beautie blindeth and causeth man to set 

His hearte on the thing which he shall never get. 

To see men clothed in silkes pleasauntly 

It is small pleasour, and ofte causeth envy. 

While thy lean jade halteth by thy side, 

To see another upon a courser ride, 

Though he be neyther gentleman nor knight. 

Nothing is thy fortune, thy hart cannot be light. 

As touching sportes and games of pleasaunce. 

To sing, to revell, afid other daliaunce : 

Who that will truely upon his lord attende. 

Unto suche sportes he seldome may entende. 

Palaces, pictures, and temples sumptuous. 

And other buildings both gay and curious. 

These may marchauntes more at their pleasour see , 

Men suche as in court be bounde alway to bee. 

Sith kingcs for moste part passe not their regions, 

Thou seest nowe cities of foreyn nations. 

Suche outwarde pleasoures may the people see, 

So may not courtiers for lacke of libcrtie. 

As for these pleasours of thinges vanable 

Whiche in the fieldes appeareth delectable, 



[501 



T502 



ALEXANDER BARCLAY 

But seldome season mayest thou obtayne respite. 

The same to beholde with pleasour and delite, 

Sometime the courtier remayneth halfe the yere 

Close within walls muche like a prisonere, 

To make escapes some seldome times are wont, 

Save when the powers have pleasour for to hunt, 

Or its otherwise themselfe to recreate. 

And then this pleasour shall they not love but hate; 

For then shall they foorth :nost chiefely to their payne, 

When they in mindes would at home remayne. 

Other in the frost, hayle, or els snowe. 

Or when some tempest or mightie wind doth blowe, 

Or else in great heat and fervour excessife, 

But close in houses the moste parte waste their life, 

Of colour faded, and choked were with duste: 

This is of courtiers the joy and all the lust. 

CORIDON 

What! yet may they sing and with fayre ladies daunce, 
Both commen and laugh ; herein is some pleasaunce. 

CORNIX 

Nay, nay, Coridon, that pleasour is but small. 

Some to contente what man will pleasour call. 

For some in the daunce his pincheth by the hande. 

Which gladly would see him stretched in a bande. 

Some galand seketh his favour to purchase 

Which playne abhorreth for to beholde his face. 

And still in dauncing moste parte inclineth she 

To one muche viler and more abject then he. 

No day over passeth but that in court men finde 

A thousande thinges to vexe and greve their minde; 

Alway thy foes are present in thy sight. 

And often so great is their degree and might 

That nedes must thou kisse the hand which did thee harm. 

Though thou would see it cut gladly from the arme. 

And briefly to speake. if thou to courte resorte, 

If thou see one thing of pleasour or comfort. 

Thou shalt see many, before or thou depart. 

To thy displeasour and pensiveness of heart: 

So findeth thy sight there more of bitternes 

And of displeasour, than pleasour and gladnes. 



1503 




RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

(1788-1845) 

!he author of the *Ingoldsby Legends* belonged to a well- 
defined and delightful class of men, chiefly found in mod- 
ern England, and indeed mostly bred and made possible by 
the conditions of English society and the Anglican Church. It is 
that of clergymen who in the public eye are chiefly wits and diners- 
out, jokers and literary humorists, yet are conscientious and devoted 
ministers of their religion and curators of their religious charges, 
honoring their profession and humanity by true and useful lives and 
lovable characters. They are men of the 
sort loathed by Lewis Carroll's heroine in 
the < Two Voices,' 

«a kind of folk 
Who have no horror of a joke,'* 

and indeed love it dearly, but are as firm 
in principle and unostentatiously dutiful in 
conduct as if they were leaden Puritans or 
narrow devotees. 

By far the best remembered of this 
class, for themselves or their work, are 
Sydney Smith and Richard Harris Barham; 
but their relative repute is one of the odd-' 
est paradoxes in literary history. Roughly speaking, the one is 
remembered and unread, the other read and unremembered. Syd- 
ney Smith's name is almost as familiar to the masses as Scott's, and 
few could tell a line that he wrote; Barham's writing is almost as 
familiar as Scott's, and few would recognize his name. Yet he is in 
the foremost rank of humorists; his place is wholly unique, and is 
likely to remain so. It will be an age before a similar combination 
of tastes and abilities is found once more. Macaulay said truly of 
Sir Walter Scott that he " combined the minute learning of an anti- 
quary with the fire of a great poet." Barham combined a like learn- 
ing in different fields, and joined to a different outlook and temper 
of mind, with the quick perceptions of a great wit, the brimming 
zest and high spirits of a great joker, the genial nature and light- 
ness of a born man of the world, and the gifts of a wonderful 
improvisatore in verse. Withal, he had just enough of serious pur- 
pose to give much of his work a certain measure of cohesive unity. 




"S^T '4>' 



Richard H. Barham 



1^04 RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

and thus impress it on the mind as _no collection of random skits 
could do. That purpose is the feathering which steadies the arrows 
and sends them home. 

It is pleasant to know that one who has given so good a time to 
others had a very good time himself; that we are not, as so often 
happens, relishing a farce that stood for tragedy with the maker, and 
substituting our laughter for his tears. Barham had the cruel sor- 
rows of personal bereavement so few escape ; but in material things 
his career was wholly among pleasant ways. He was well born and 
with means, well educated, well nurtured. He was free from the 
sordid squabbles or anxious watching and privation which fall to the 
lot of so many of the best. He was happy in his marriage and its 
attendant home and family, and most fortunate in his friendships • 
and the superb society he enjoyed. His birth and position as a gen- 
tleman of good landed family, combined with his profession, opened 
all doors to him. 

But it was the qualities personal to himself, after all, which made 
these things available for enjoyment. His desires were moderate ; 
he counted success what more eager and covetous natures might 
have esteemed comparative failure. His really strong intellect and 
wide knowledge and cultivation enabled him to meet the foremost 
men of letters on equal terms. His kind heart, generous nature, 
exubei'ant fun, and entertaining conversation endeared him to every 
one and made his company sought by everj- one ; they saved much 
trouble from coming upon him and lightened what did come. And 
no blight could have withered th^vt perennial fountain of jollity, 
drollery, and light-heartedncss. Biit these were only the ornaments 
of a stanchly loyal and honorable nature, and a lovable and unselfish 
soul. One of his friends writes of him thus: — 

«The profits of agitating pettifoggers would have materially lessened in a 
district where he acted as a magistrate; and duels would have been nipped 
in the bud at his regimental mess. It is not always an easy task to do 
as you would be done by; but to think as you would be thought of and 
thought for, and to feel as you would be felt for, is perhaps still more diffi- 
cult, as superior powers of tact and intellect are here required in order to 
second good intentions. These faculties, backed by an uncompromising love 
of truth and fair dealing, indefatigable good nature, and a nice sense of 
what was due .to every one in the several relations of life, both gentle and 
simple, rendered our late friend invaluable, either as an adviser or a peace- 
maker, in matters of delicate and difficult handling." 

Barham was born in Canterbury, England, December 6th, 1788, 
and died in London, Jime 17th, 1845. His ancestry was superior, the 
family having derived its name from possessions in Kent in Norman 
days. He lost his father — a genial bon vivant of literary tastes who 



RICHARD HARRIS BARITAM ,505 

seems like a reduced copy of his son — when but five years old; and 
became heir to a fair estate, including Tappington Hall, the pictur- 
esque old gabled mansion so often imaginatively misdescribed in the 
< Ingoldsby Legends,* but really having the famous blood-stained 
stairwa3^ He had an expensive private education, which was nearly 
ended with his life at the age of fourteen by a carriage accident 
which shattered and mangled his right arm, crippling it perma- 
nently. As so often happens, the disaster was really a piece of good 
fortune : it turned him to or confirmed him in quiet antiquarian 
scholarship, and established connections which ultimately led to the 
* Legends * ; he may owe immortality to it. 

After passing through St. Paul's (London) and Brasenose (Oxford). 
he studied law, but finally entered the church. After a couple of 
small curacies in Kent, he was made rector of Snargate and curate 
of Warehorn, near Romney Marsh; all four in a district where smug- 
gling was a chief industry, and the Marsh in especial a noted haunt 
of desperadoes (for smugglers then took their lives in their hands), 
of which the < Legends > are rich in reminiscences. In 18 19, during 
this incumbency, he wrote a novel, * Baldwin,' which was a failure; 
and part of another, * My Cousin Nicholas, * which, finished fifteen 
years later, had fair success as a serial in Blackwood's Magazine. 

An opportunity offering in 182 1, he stood for a minor canonry in 
St. Paul's Cathedral, London, and obtained it; his income was 
less than before, but he had entered the metropolitan field, which 
brought him rich enjoyment and permanent fame. He paid a terri- 
ble price for them: his unhealthy London house cost him the lives 
of three of his children. To make up for his shortened means he 
became editor of the London Chronicle and a contributor to various 
other periodicals, including the notorious weekly John Bull, some- 
time edited by Theodore Hook. In 1824 he became a priest in the 
Chapel Royal at St. James's Palace, and soon after gained a couple 
of excellent livings in Essex, which put him at ease financially. 

He was inflexible in prmciple, a firm Tory, though without ran- 
cor. He was very High Church, but had no sympathy with the 
Oxford movement or Catholicism. He preached careful and sober 
sermons, without oratorical display and with rigid avoidance of lev- 
ity. He would not make the church a field either for fireworks or 
jokes, or even for displays of scholarship or intellectual gymnastics. 
In his opinion, religious establishments were kept up to advance 
religion and morals. And both he and his wife wrought zealously in 
the humble but exacting field of parochial good works. 

He was, however, fast becoming one of the chief ornaments of 
that brilliant group of London wits whose repute still vibrates from 
the early part of the century. Many of them — actors, authors, 
111—95 



1506 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 



artists, musicians, and others — met at the Garrick Club, and Barham 
joined it. The names of Sydney Smith and Theodore Hook are 
enough to show what it was; but there were others equally delight- 
ful, — not the least so, or least useful, a few who could not see a joke 
at all, and whose simplicity and good nature made them butts for 
the hoaxes and solemn chaff of the rest. Barham's diary, quoted in 
his son's <Life,> gives an exquisite instance. 

In 1834 his old schoolmaster Bentley established Bentley's Miscel- 
lany; and Barham was asked for contributions. The first he sent 
was the amusing but quite " conceivable ** * Spectre of Tappington ' ; 
but there soon began the immortal series of versified local stories, 
legendary church miracles, antiquarian curios, witty summaries of 
popular plays, skits on London life, and so on, under the pseudonym 
of < Thomas Ingoldsby, > which sprang instantly into wide popularity, 
and have never fallen from public favor since — nor can they till 
appreciation of humor is dead in the world. They were collected 
and illustrated by Leech, Cruikshank, and others, who were inspired 
by them to some of their best designs: perhaps the most perfect 
realization in art of the Devil in his moments of jocose triumph is 
Leech's figure in < The House- Warming.* A later series appeared in 
Colburn's New Monthly Magazine in 1843. 

He wrote some excellent pieces (of their kind) in prose, besides 
the one already mentioned: the weird and well-constructed * Leech of 
Folkestone* and the * Passage in the Life of Henry Harris,* both half- 
serious tales of mediaeval magic; the thoroughly Ingoldsbian * Legend 
of Sheppey,' with its irreverent farce, high animal spirits, and anti- 
quarianism; the equally characteristic * Lady Rohesia,' which would 
be vulgar but for his sly wit and drollery. But none of these are as 
familiar as the versified < Legends, * nor have they the astonishing 
variety of entertainment found in the latter. 

The < Ingoldsby Legends * have been called an English naturaliza- 
tion of the French metrical contes ; but Barham owes nothing to his 
French models save the suggestion of method and form. Not only is 
his matter all his owti, but he has Anglified the whole being of the 
metrical form itself. His facility of versification, the way in which 
the whole language seems to be liquid in his hands and ready to 
pour into any channel of verse, was one of the marvelous things of 
literature. It did not need the free random movement of the majority 
of the tales, where the lines may be anything from one foot to six, 
from spondaic to dactylic : in some of them he tied himself down to 
the most rigid and inflexible metrical forms, and moved as lightly 
and freely in those fetters as if they were non-existent. As to the 
astonishing rhymes which meet us at every step, they form in them- 
selves a poignant kind of wit; often double and even treble, one word 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 



1507 



rhyming with an entire phrase or one phrase with another, — not 
only of the oddest kind, but as nicely adapted to the necessities of 
expression and meaning as if intended or invented for that purpose 
alone, — they produce on us the effect of the richest humor. 

One of his most diverting " properties >* is the set of « morals >* he 
draws to everything, of nonsensical literalness and infantile gravity, 
the perfection of solemn fooling. Thus in the < Lay of St. Cuthbert,^ 
where the Devil has captured the heir of the house, 

ttWhom the nurse had forgot and left there in his chair, 
Alternately sucking his thumb and his pear,» 

the moral is drawn, among others, — • 

« Perhaps it's as well to keep children from plums, 
And pears in their season — and sucking their thumbs.* 

And part of the moral to the '■ Lay of St. Medard * is — • 

« Don't give people nicknames! don't, even in fun, 
Call any one < snuff-colored son of a gun > ! " 

And they generally wind up with some slyly shrewd piece of worldly 
wisdom -and wit. Thus, the closing moral to < The Blasphemer's 
Warning * is : — • 

« To married men this — For the rest of your lives, 
Think how your misconduct may act on your wives! 
Don't swear then before them, lest haply they faint, 
Or — what sometimes occurs — run away with a Saint ! » 

Often they are broader yet, and intended for the club rather than the 
family. Indeed, the tales as a whole are club tales, with an audi- 
ence of club-men always in mind; not, be it remembered, bestialities 
like their French counterparts, or the later English and American 
improvements on the French, not even objectionable for general read- 
ing, but full of exclusively masculine joking, allusions, and winks, 
unintelligible to the other sex, and not v/elcome if they were intelli- 
gible. 

He has plenty of melody, but it is hardly recognized because of 
the doggerel meaning, which swamps the music in the farce. And 
this applies to more important things than the melody. The average 
reader floats on the surface of this rapid and foamy stream, covered 
with sticks and straws and flowers and bonbons, and never realizes 
its depth and volume. This light frothy verse is only the vehicle of 
a solid and laborious antiquarian scholarship, of an immense knowl- 
edge of the world and society, books and men. He modestly dis- 
claimed having any imagination, and said he must always have 
facts to work upon. This was true; but the same may be said of 



i5o8 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 



some great poets, who have lacked invention except around a skele- 
ton ready furnished. What was true of Keats and Fitzgerald can- 
not nullify the merit of Barham. His fancy erected a huge and 
consistent superstructure on a very slender foundation. The same 
materials lay ready to the hands of thousands of others, who, how- 
ever, saw only stupid monkish fables or dull country superstition. 

His own explanation of his handling of the church legends tickles 
a critic's sense of humor almost as much as the verses themselves. 
It is true that while differing utterly in his tone of mind, and his 
attitude toward the mediasval stories, from that of the mediasval 
artists and sculptors, — whose gargoyles and other grotesques were 
carved without a thought of travesty on anything religious, — he is at 
one with them in combining extreme irreverence of form with a total 
lack of irreverence of spirit toward the real spiritual mysteries of 
religion. He burlesques saints and devils alike, mocks the swarm of. 
miracles of the mediaeval Church, makes salient all the ludicrous 
aspects of mediceval religious faith in its devout credulity and bar- 
barous gropings; yet he never sneers at holiness or real aspiration, 
and through all the riot of fun in his masques, one feels the sincere 
Christian and the warm-hearted man. But he was evidently troubled 
by the feeling that a clergyman ought not to ridicule any form in 
which religious feeling had ever clothed itself; and he justified him- 
self by professing that he wished to expose the absurdity of old 
superstitions and mummeries, to help countervail the effect of the 
Oxford movement. Ingoldsby as a soldier of Protestantism, turning 
monkish stories into rollicking farces in order to show up what he 
conceived to be the errors of his opponents, is as truly Ingoldsbian a 
figure as any in his own * Legends. * Yet one need not accuse him 
of hypocrisy or falsehood, hardly even of self-deception. He felt 
that dead superstitions, and stories not reverenced even by the 
Church that developed them, were legitimate material for any use 
he could make of them; he felt that in dressing them up with his 
wit and fancy he was harming nothing that existed, nor making any 
one look lightly on the religion of Christ or the Church of Christ: 
and that they were the property of an opposing church body was a 
happy thought to set his conscience at rest. He wrote them thence- 
forth with greater peace of mind and added satisfaction, and no doubt 
really believed that he was doing good in the way he alleged. And 
if the excuse gave to the world even one more of the inimitable 
< Legends, > it was worth feeling and making. 

Barbara's nature was not one which felt the problems and trage- 
dies of the world deeply. He grieved for his friends, he helped the 
distresses he saw, but his imagination rested closely in the concrete. 
He was incapable of wiitschnicrz: even for things just beyond his 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 



15^9 



personal ken he had little vision or fancy. His treatment of the 
perpetual problem of sex-temptations and lapses is a good example : 
he never seems to be conscious of the tragedy they envelop. To 
him they are always good jokes, to wink over or smile at or be 
indulgent to. No one would ever guess from * Ingoldsby * the truth 
he finds even in * Don Juan,* that 

«A heavy price must all pay who thus err. 
In some shape.*' 

But we cannot have everything: if Barham had been sensitive to 
the tragic side of life, he could not have been the incomparable fun- 
maker he was. We do not go to the * Ingoldsby Legends * to solace 
our souls when hurt or remorseful, to brace ourselves for duty, or to 
feel ourselves nobler by contact with the expression of nobility. But 
there must be play and rest for the senses, as well as work and 
aspiration; and there are worse services than relieving the strain of 
serious endeavor by enabling us to become jolly pagans once again 
for a little space, and care naught for the morrow. 

AS I LAYE A-THYNKYNGE 

THE LAST LINES OF BARHAM 

AS I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, 
Merrie sang the Birde as she sat upon the spraye; 
There came a noble Knighte, 
With his hauberke shynynge brighte, 
And his gallant heart was lyghte. 
Free and gaye ; 
As I laye a-thynkynge, he rode upon his waye. 

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge. 

Sadly sang the Birde as she sat upon the tree! 
There seemed a crimson plain, 
Where a gallant Knyghte lay slaj'ne. 
And a steed with broken rein 
Ran free. 

As I laye a-thynkynge, most pitiful to see ! 

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, 
Merrie sang the Birde as she sat upon the boughe; 
A lovely mayde came bye. 
And a gentil youth was nyghe, 
~ ^ And he breathed many a syghe, 

And a vowe ; 
As I laye a-thynkynge, her hearte was gladsome now. 



T5IO 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, 
Sadly sang the Birde as she sat upon the thorne; 

No more a youth was there, 

But a Maiden rent her haire, 

And cried in sad despaire, 

«That I was borne !» 
As I laye a-thynkynge, she perished forlorne. 

As I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge. 
Sweetly sang the Birde as she sat upon the briar; 
There came a lovely childe, 
And his face was meek and milde, 
Yet joyously he smiled 
On his sire; 
As I laye a-thynkynge, a Cherub mote admire. 

But I laye a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, a-thynkynge, 
And sadly sang the Birde as it perched upon a bier; 

That joyous smile was gone. 

And the face was white and wan. 

As the downe upon the Swan 
Doth appear, 
As I laye a-thynkynge, — oh! bitter flowed the tear! 

As I laye a-thynkynge, the golden sun was sinking, 
Oh, merrie sang that Birde, as it glittered on her breast 
With a thousand gorgeous dyes; 
While soaring to the skies, 
'Mid the stars she seemed to rise. 
As to her nest; 
As I laye a-thynkynge, her meaning was exprest;— 
*< Follow, follow me away. 
It boots not to delay," — 
'Twas so she seemed to saye, 
«HERE IS REST!» 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 15 n 



THE LAY OF ST. CUTHBERT 

OR 

THE DEVIL'S DINNER-PARTY 
A LEGEND OF THE NORTH COUNTREE 

Nobilis quidam, cui nomen Monsr. Lescrop, Chivaler, cum invitasset 
convivas, et, hora convivii jam instante et apparatu facto, spe frustratus esset, 
excusantibus se con\avis cur non comparareni, prorupit iratus in haec verba: 
« Veniant igitiir omnes da»iones, si nitllus homintim mecum esse potest !">^ 

Quod cum fieret, et Dominus, et famuli, et ancillae, a domo properantes, 
forte obliti, infantem in cunis jacentera secura non auferent, Damones incip- 
iunt commessari et vociferari, prospicereque per fenestras formis ursorum, 
luporum, felium, et monstrare pocula vino repleta. Ah, inquit pater, ubi 
infans tneus? Vix cum haec dixisset, unus ex Dajmonibus ulnis suis infan- 
tem ad fenestram gestat, etc. — Chronicon de Boltott. 

It's in Bolton Hall, and the clock strikes One, 
And the roast meat's brown and the boiled meat's done, 
And the barbecued sucking-pig's crisped to a turn. 
And the pancakes are fried and beginning to burn; 
The fat stubble-goose 
Swims in gravy and juice. 
With the mustard and apple-sauce ready for use; 
Fish, flesh, and fowl, and all of the best. 
Want nothing but eating — they're all ready drest, 
But where is the Host, and where is the Guest ? 

Pantler and serving-man, henchman and page 
Stand sniffing the duck-stuffing (onion and sage). 

And the scullions and cooks, 
With fidgety looks. 
Are grumbling and mutt'ring, and scowling as black 
As cooks always do when the dinner's put back; 
For though the board's deckt, and the napery, fair 
As the unsunned snow-flake, is spread out with care, 
And the Dais is furnished with stool and with chair, 
And plate of orfe'verie costly and rare. 
Apostle-spoons, salt-cellar, all are there. 

And Mess John in his place, 

With his rubicund face, 
~~ »- And his hands ready folded, prepared to say Grace, 
Yet where is the Host? — and his convives — where? 



JCJ2 RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

The Scroope sits lonely in Bolton Hall, 

And he watches the dial that hangs by the wall. 

He watches the large hand, he watches the small, 

And he fidgets and looks 

As cross as the cooks. 
And he utters — a word which we'll soften to "Zooks!" 
And he cries, "What on earth has become of them all? — 

What can delay 

De Vaux and De Saye ? 
What makes Sir Gilbert de Umfraville stay ? 
What's gone with Poyntz, and Sir Reginald Braye ? 
Why are Ralph Uflford and Marny away ? 
And De Nokes and De Styles, and Lord Marmaduke Grey ? 
And De Roe? 
And De Doe ? 
Poynings and Vavasour — where be they? 
Fitz-Walter, Fitz-Osbert, Fitz-Hugh, and Fitz-John, 
And the Mandevilles, pire et filz (father and son) ; 
Their cards said < Dinner precisely at One ! ' 

There's nothing I hate, in 

The world, like waiting! 
It's a monstrous great bore, when a Gentleman feels 
A good appetite, thus to be kept from his meals ! » 

It's in Bolton Hall, and the clock strikes Two! 
And the scullions and cooks are themselves "in a stew," 
And the kitchen-maids stand, and don't know what to do, 
For the rich plum-puddings are bursting their bags, 
And the mutton and turnips are boiling to rags, 

And the fish is all spoiled. 

And the butter's all oiled, 
And the soup's got cold in the silver tureen. 
And there's nothing, in short, that is fit to be seen! 
While Sir Guy Le Scroope continues to fume. 
And to fret by himself in the tapestried room. 

And still fidgets and looks 

More cross than the cooks. 
And repeats that bad word, which we've softened to "Zooks! 

Two o'clock's come, and Two o'clock's gone. 

And the large and the small hands move steadily on, 

Still nobody's there. 

No De Roos, or De Clare, 
To taste of the Scroope's most delicate fare, 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 1513 

Or to quaff off a health unto Bolton's Heir, 

That nice little boy who sits in his chair, 

Some four years old, and a few months to spare. 

With his laughing blue eyes and his long curly hair, 

Now sucking his thumb, and now miinching his pear. 

Again Sir Guy the silence broke, 

«It's hard upon Three! — it's just on the stroke! 

Come, serve up the dinner! — A joke is a joke!" — 

Little he deems that Stephen de Hoaques, 

Who "his fun," as the Yankees say, everywhere "pokes," 

And is always a great deal too fond of his jokes. 

Has written a circular note to De Nokes, 

And De Styles and De Roe, and the rest of the folks. 

One and all, 

Great and small, 
Who were asked to the Hall 
To dine there and sup, and wind up with a ball. 
And had told all the party a great bouncing lie, he 
Cooked up, that the '■'^ fete was postponed sine die, 
The dear little curly-wigged heir of Le Scroope 
Being taken alarmingly ill with the croop ! " 

When the clock struck Three, 
And the Page on his knee 
Said, " An't please you. Sir Guy Le Scroope, On a servil^'* 
And the Knight found the banquet-hall empty and clear, 
With nobody near 
To partake of his cheer. 
He stamped, and he stormed — then his language! — Oh dear! 
'Twas awful to see, and 'twas awful to hear! 
And he cried to the button-decked Page at his knee, 
Who had told him so civilly "(9« a servi,^^ 
" Ten thousand fiends seize them, wherever they be ! 
— The Devil take them.' and the Devil take thee f 
And the Devil may eat up the dinner for me!" 

In a terrible fume 
He bounced out of the room. 
He bounced out of the house — and page, footman, and groom 
Bounced after their master; for scarce had they heard 
Of this left-handed grace the last finishing word, 
i» Ere the horn at the gate of the Barbican tower 
Was blown with a loud twenty-trumpeter power. 



iri4 RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

And in rush'd a troop 
Of strange guests! — such a group 
As had ne'er before darkened the door of the Scroope! 
This looks like De Saye — yet — it is not De Saye — 
And this is — no, 'tis not — Sir Reginald Braye, — 
This has somewhat the favor of Marmaduke Grey — 
But stay ! — IVhere on earth did he get those long nails ? 
Why, they're claws! — then Good Gracious! — they've all of them tails! 
That can't be De Vaux — whj', his nose is a bill, 
Or, I would say a beak! — and he can't keep it still! — 
Is that Poynings ? — Oh, Gemini! look at his feet! ! 
Why, they're absolute hoofs! — is it gout or his corns, 
That have crumpled them up so? — by Jingo, he's horns! 
Run! run! — There's Fitz-W alter, Fitz-Hugh, and Fitz-John, 
And the Mandevilles, pere et filz (father and son), 
And Fitz-Osbert, and Ufford — they've all got them on! 
Then their great saucer eyes — 
It's the Father of lies 
And his Imps — run! run! run! — they're all fiends in disguise. 
Who've partly assumed, with more sombre complexions. 
The forms of Sir Guy Le Scroope's friends and connections, 
And He — at the top there — that grim-looking elf — 
Run ! run ! — that's the " muckle-horned Clootie ** himself ! 

And now what a din 

Without and within! 
For the courtyard is full of them. — How they begin 
To mop, and to mowe, and to make faces, and grin! 
Cock their tails up together, 
Like cows in hot weather, 
And butt at each other, all eating and drinking. 
The viands and wine disappearing like winking. 

And then such a lot 

As together had got! 
Master Cabbage, the steward, who'd made a machine 
To calculate with, and count noses, — I ween 
The cleverest thing of the kind ever seen, — 
Declared, when he'd made 
By the said machine's aid. 
Up, what's now called the " tottle " of those he surveyed. 
There were just — how he proved it I cannot divine — 
Nine thousand, nine hundred, and ninety and nine. 

Exclusive of Him 

Who, giant in limb, 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 



1515 



And black as the crow they denominate Jim, 
With a tail like a bull, and a head like a bear, 
Stands forth at the window — and what holds he there, 

Which he hugs with such care, 

And pokes out in the air. 
And grasps as its limbs from each other he'd tear? 

Oh ! grief and despair ! 

I vow and declare 
It's Le Scroope's poor, dear, sweet, little, curly-wigged Heir! 
Whom the nurse had forgot and left there in his chair. 
Alternately sucking his thumb and his pear. 

W^hat words can express 

The dismay and distress 
Of Sir Guy, when he found what a terrible mess 
His cursing and banning had now got him into ? 
That words, which to use are a shame and a sin too. 
Had thus on their speaker recoiled, and his malison 
Placed in the hands of the Devil's own "pal" his son! — 
He sobbed and he sighed. 
And he screamed, and he cried. 
And behaved like a man that is mad or in liquor — he 
Tore his peaked beard, and he dashed off his "Vicary,'* 

Stamped on the jasey 

As though he were crazy. 
And staggering about just as if he were "hazy,** 
Exclaimed, " Fifty pounds ! ** (a large sum in those times") 
"To the person, whoever he may be, that climbs 
To that window above there, en ogive, and painted. 
And brings down my curly-wi'- — ** Here Sir Guy fainted! 

With many a moan. 
And many a groan. 
What with tweaks of the nose, and some eau de Cologne, 
He revived, — Reason once more remounted her throne, 
Or rather the instinct of Nature — 'twere treason 
To her, in the Scroope's case, perhaps, to say Reason — 
But what saw he then — Oh ! my goodness I a sight 
Enough to have banished his reason outright! — 
In that broad banquet-hall 
The fiends one and all 
Regardless of shriek, and of squeak, and of squall, 
*" From one to another were tossing that small 
Pretty, curly-wigged boy, as if playing at ball; 



tst6 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

Yet none of his friends or his vassals might dare 

To fly to the rescue or rush up the stair, 

And bring down in safety his curly-wigged Heir! 

Well a day! Well a day! 
All he can say 
Is but just so much trouble and time thrown away; 
Not a man can be tempted to join the mile'e : 
E'en those words cabalistic, <* I promise to pay 
Fifty pounds on demand,*' have for once lost their sway, 
And there the Knight stands 
Wringing his hands 
In his agony — when on a sudden, one ray 
Of hope darts through his midriff! — His Saint! — 
Oh, it's funny 
And almost absurd. 
That it never occurred!- — 
"Ay! the Scroope's Patron Saint! — ^,he's the man for my money! 
Saint — who is it? — really I'm sadly to blame,— 
On my word I'm afraid, — I confess it with shame, — 
That I've almost forgot the good Gentleman's name, — 
Cut — let me see — Cutbeard ? — ^no — Cuthbert! — egad! 
St. Cuthbert of Bolton! — I'm right — he's the lad! 
O holy St. Ciithbert, if forbears of mine — 
Of myself I say little — have knelt at your shrine. 
And have lashed their bare backs, and — no matter — with twine. 
Oh ! list to the vow 
Which I make to you now. 
Only snatch my poor little boy out of the row 
Which that Imp's kicking up with his fiendish bow-wow, 
And his head like a bear, and his tail like a cow! 
Bring him back here in safety ! — perform but this task, 
And I'll give — Oh!- — I'll give you whatever you ask! — 
There is not a shrine 
In the county shall shine 
With a brilliancy half so resplendent as thine, 
Or have so many candles, or look half so fine! — 
Haste, holy St. Cuthbert, then, — hasten in pity! — ** 

Conceive his surprise 

When a strange voice replies, 
"It's a bargain! — but, mind, sir. The best Spermaceti ! » — 
Say, whose that voice? — whose that form by his side, 
That old, old, gray man, with his beard long and wide. 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 



15^7 



In his coarse Palmer's weeds, 

And his cockle and beads? — 
And how did he come? — did he walk? — did he ride? 
Oh! none could determine, — oh! none conld decide, — 
The fact is, I don't believe any one tried; 
For while every one stared, with a dignified stride 

And without a word more. 
He marched on before, 
Up a flight of stone steps, and so through the front door, 
To the banqueting-hall that was on the first floor, 
"While the fiendish assembly were making a rare 
Little shuttlecock there of the curly-wigged Heir. 
— I wish, gentle Reader, that you could have seen 
The pause that ensued when he stepped in between. 
With his resolute air, and his dignified mien. 
And said, in a tone most decided though mild, 
"Come! I'll trouble you just to hand over that child!** 

The Demoniac crowd 

In an instant seemed cowed; 
Not one of the crew volunteered a reply. 
All shrunk from the glance of that keen-flashing eye. 
Save one horrid Humgruffin, who seemed by his talk. 
And the airs he assumed, to be cock of the walk. 
He quailed not before it, but saucily met it. 
And as saucily said, "Don't you wish 3'ou may get it?** 

My goodness ! — the look that the old Palmer gave ! 
And his frown! — 'twas quite dreadful to witness — "Why, slave! 
You rascal ! ** quoth he, 
"This language to me! 
At once, Mr. Nicholas! down on your knee, 
And hand me that curly-wigged boy! — I command it — 
Come! — none of your nonsense! — you know I won't stand it.** 

Old Nicholas trembled, — he shook in his shoes. 
And seemed half inclined, but afraid, to refuse. 
"Well. Cuthbert,** said he, 
"If so it must be. 
For you've had your own way from the first time I knew ye ; — 
Take your curly-wigged brat, and much good may he do ye! 
But I'll have in exchange** — here his eye flashed with rage — 
"That chap with the buttons — he gave me the Page!** 

"Come, come,'* the saint answered, "you very well know 
The young man's no more his than your own to bestow. 



i5i8 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 



Touch one button of his if you dare, Nick — no! no! 
Cut your stick, sir — come, mizzle! be off with you! go!" — 
The Devil grew hot — 
« If I do I'll be shot ! 
An you come to that, Cuthbert, I'll tell you what's what; 
He has asked us to di)ic here, and go we will not ! 
Why, you Skinflint, — at least 
You may leave us the feast! 
Here we've come all that way from our brimstone abode. 
Ten million good leagues, sir, as ever you strode, 
And the deuce of a kmcheon we've had on the road — 
• *Go!* — * Mizzle!* indeed — Mr. Saint, who are you, 
I should like to know? — *Go!' I'll be hanged if I do! 
He invited us all — we've a right here — it's known 
That a Baron may do what he likes with his own — 
Here, Asmodeus — a slice of that beef; — now the mustard !- 
What have >w/ got? — oh, apple-pie — try it with custard.* 

The Saint made a pause 

As uncertain, because 
He knew Nick is pretty well " up >* in the laws, 
And they might be on his side — and then, he'd such claws! 
On the whole, it was better, he thought, to retire 
With the curly-wigged boy he'd picked out of the fire, 
And give up the victuals — to retrace his path, 
And to compromise — (spite of the Member for Bath). 

So to Old Nick's appeal. 

As he turned on his heel. 
He replied, " Well, I'll leave you the mutton and veal. 
And the soup a la Heine, and the sauce Bechamel; 
As the Scroope did invite you to dinner, I feel 
I can't well turn you out — 'twould be hardly genteel — 
But be moderate, pray, — and remember thus much. 
Since you're treated as Gentlemen — show yourselves such, 

And don't make it late. 

But mind and go straight 
Home to bed when you've finished — and don't steal the plate. 
Nor wrench off the knocker, or bell from the gate. 
Walk away, like respectable Devils, in peace, 
And don't <lark> with the watch, or annoy the police!" 

Having thus said his say. 
That Palmer gray 
Took up little La Scroope, and walked coolly away. 
While the Demons all set up a "Hip! hip! hurrah!" 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 



1519 



Then fell, tooth and nail, on the victuals, as they 
Had been giaests at Guildhall upon Lord Mayor's day. 
All scrambling and scuffling for what was before 'em, 
No care for precedence or common decorum. 

Few ate more hearty 

Than Madame Astarte, 
And Hecate, — considered the Belles of the party. 
Between them was seated Leviathan, eager 
To "do the polite," and take wine with Belphegor; 
Here was Morbleii (a French devil), supping soup-meagre, 
And there, munching leeks, Davy Jones of Tredegar 
(A Welsh one), who'd left the domains of Ap Morgan 
To "follow the sea," — and next him Demogorgon, — 
Then Pan with his pipes, and Fauns grinding the organ 
To Mammon and Belial, and half a score dancers. 
Who'd joined with Medusa to get up *the Lancers'; 
Here's Lucifer lying blind drunk with Scotch ale, 
While Beelzebub's tying huge knots in his tail. 
There's Setebos, storming because Mephistopheles 
Gave him the lie, 
Said he'd "blacken his eye," 
And dashed in his face a whole cup of hot coffee-lees; — 
Ramping and roaring. 
Hiccoughing, snoring, 
Never was seen such a riot before in 
A gentleman's house, or such profligate reveling 
At any soiree — where they don't let the Devil in. 



Hark! as sure as fate 

The clock's striking Eight! 
(An hour which our ancestors called "getting late,"") 
When Nick, who by this time was rather elate. 
Rose up and addressed them: — 

«'Tis fiill time," he said, 
" For all elderly Devils to be in their bed ; 
For my own part I mean to be jogging, because 
I don't find mj'self now quite so young as I was; 
But, Gentlemen, ere I depart from my post 
I must call on you all for one bumper — the toast 
Which I have to propose is, — Our Excellent Host! 
Many thanks for his kind hospitality — may 
We also be able 
To see at our table 



It 2b RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

Himself, and enjoy, in a family way, 

His good company dcnvn-stairs at no distant day! 

You'd, I'm sure, think me rude 

If I did not include, 
In the toast my young friend there, the curly-wigged Heir! 
He's in very good hands, for you're all well aware 
That St. Cuthbert has taken him iinder his care; 

Though I must not say * bless,* — 
Why, you'll easily guess, — 
May our curly-wigged Friend's shadow never be less ! >* 
Nick took off his heel-taps — bowed — smiled — with an air 
Most graciously grim, — and vacated the chair. 

Of course the dite 
Rose at once on their feet. 
And followed their leader, and beat a retreat; 
When a sky-larking Imp took the President's seat, 
And requesting that each would replenish his cup. 
Said, « Where we have dined, my boys, there let us sup!*>- 
It was three in the morning before they broke up!!! 



I scarcely need say 
Sir Guy didn't delay 
To fulfill his vow made to St. Cuthbert, or pay 
For the candles he'd promised, or make light as day 
The shrine he assured him he'd render so gay. 
In fact, when the votaries came there to pray. 
All said there was naught to compare with it — nay, 

For fear that the Abbey 

Might think he was shabby, 
Four Brethren, thenceforward, two cleric, two lay. 
He ordained shoiild take charge of a new-founded chantry. 
With six marcs apiece, and some claims on the pantry; 

In short, the whole county 

Declared, through his bounty. 
The Abbey of Bolton exhibited fresh scenes 
From any displayed since Sir William de Meschines 
And Cecily Roumeli came to this nation 
With William the Norman, and laid its foundation. 

For the rest, it is said. 
And I know I have read 
In some Chronicle — whose, has gone out of my head — 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM IC2I 

That what with these candles, and other expenses, 
Which no man would go to if quite in his senses, 
He reduced and brought low 
His property so, 
That at last he'd not much of it left to bestow; 
And that many years after that terrible feast. 
Sir Guy, in the Abbey, was living a priest; 
And there, in one thousand and — something- — deceased. 

(It's supposed by this trick 

He bamboozled Old Nick, 
And slipped through his fingers remarkably "slick.") 
While as to young Curly-wig, — dear little Soul, 
Would you know more of him, ^^ou must look at "The Roll," 

Which records the dispute, 

And the subsequent suit. 
Commenced in "Thirteen sev'nty-five," — which took root 
In Le Grosvenor's assuming the arms Le Scroope swore 
That none but /lis ancestors, ever before. 
In foray, joust, battle, or tournament wore. 
To wit, " On a Prussian-blue Field, a Bend Or; ** 
While the Grosvenor averred that his ancestors bore 
The same, and Scroope lied like a — somebody tore 
Off the simile, — so I can tell you no more, 
Till some A double S shall the fragment restore. 

Moral 
This Legend sound maxims exemplifies — e.g. 

\mo. Should anything tease you. 

Annoy, or displease you. 
Remember what Lilly says, '■'•Animum rege ! " 
And as for that shocking bad habit of swearing, — 
In all good society voted past bearing, — 
Eschew it! and leave it to dustmen and mobs. 
Nor commit yourself much beyond "Zooks!" or "Odsbobs!** 

7.do. When asked out to dine by a Person of Quality, 
Mind, and observe the most strict punctuality! 
For should you come late. 
And make dinner wait. 
And the victuals get cold, you'll incur, sure as fate. 
The Master's displeasure, the Mistress's hate. 
And though both may perhaps be too well-bred to swear, 

They'll heartily wish you — I will not say Where. 
Ill — gb 



1522 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 



itio. Look well to your Maid-servants ! — say you expect them 
To see to the children, and not to neglect them! 
And if you're a widower, just throw a cursory 
Glance in, at times, when you go near the Nursery. 
Perhaps it's as well to keep children from plums, 
And from pears in the season, — and sucking their thumbs! 

/^o. To sum up the whole with a " saw " of much use, 
Be Just and be generous, — don't be profuse! — 
Pay the debts that you owe, — keep your word to your friends, 

But — don't SET YOUR CANDLES ALIGHT AT BOTH ENDS I! — 

For of this be assured, if you " go it *> too fast, 

You'll be « dished <> like Sir Guy, 

And like him, perhaps, die 
A poor, old, half-starved Country Parson at last! 



A LAY OF ST. NICHOLAS 

« Statim sacerdoti apparuit diabolus in specie puellse pulchritudinis mirae, 
et ecce Divus, fide catholica, et cruce, et aqua benedicta armatus venit, et 
aspersit aquam in nomine Sanctae et Individuae Trinitatis, quam, quasi 
ardentem, diabolus, nequaquam sustinere valens, mugitibus fug^t.*> — Roger 

HOVEDEN. 



L 



ORD Abbot! Lord Abbot! I'd fain confess; 
I am a-weary, and worn with woe ; 
Many a grief doth my heart oppress. 
And haunt me whithersoever I go!" 



On bended knee spake the beautiful Maid; 

"Now lithe and listen. Lord Abbot, to me!* — 
*Now naye, fair daughter," the Lord Abbot said, 

*Now naye, in sooth it may hardly be. 

** There is Mess Michael, and holy Mess John, 
Sage penitauncers I ween be they! 

And hard by doth dwell, in .St. Catherine's cell, 
Ambrose, the anchorite old and gray ! ** 

— **0h, I will have none of Ambrose or John, 
Though sage penitauncers I trow they be; 

Shrive me may none save the Abbot alone — 
Now listen, Lord Abbot, I speak to thee. 

<*Nor think foul scorn, though mitre adorn 
Thy brow, to listen to shrift of mine! 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 1523 

I am a maiden royally born, 

And I come of old Plantagenet's line. 

« Though hither I stray in lowly array, 

I am a damsel of high degree; 
And the Compte of Eu, and the Lord of Ponthieu, 

They serve my father on bended knee! 

" Counts a many, and Dukes a few, 

A suitoring came to my father's Hall ; 
But the Duke of Lorraine, with his large domain, 

He pleased my father beyond them all. 

* Dukes a many, and Counts a few, 

I would have wedded right cheerfullie; 
But the Duke of Lorraine was uncommonly plain, 

And I vowed that he ne'er should my bridegroom be! 

** So hither I fly, in lowly guise. 

From their gilded domes and their princely halls; 
Fain would I dwell in some holy cell. 

Or within some Convent's peaceful walls ! " 

— Then out and spake that proud Lord Abbot, 
" Now rest thee, fair daughter, withouten fear. 

Nor Count nor Duke but shall meet the rebuke 
Of Holy Church an he seek thee here : 

" Holy Church denieth all search 

'Midst her sanctified ewes and her saintly rams. 
And the wolves doth mock who would scathe her flock. 

Or, especially, worry her little pet lambs. 

" Then lay, fair daughter, thy fears aside. 

For here this day shalt thou dine with me ! " — 

*Now naye, now naye," the fair maiden cried; 
" In sooth. Lord Abbot, that scarce may be ! 

<* Friends would whisper, and foes would frown, 
Sith thou art a Churchman of high degree, 

And ill mote it match with thy fair renown 
That a wandering damsel dine with thee! 

" There is Simon the Deacon hath pulse in store. 

With beans and lettuces fair to see : 
His lenten fare now let me share, 

I pray thee, Lord Abbot, in charitie 1 '* 



^524 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

— '* Though Simon the Deacon hath pulse in store, 
To our patron Saint foul shame it were 

Should wayworn guest, with toil oppressed, 
Meet in his Abbey such churlish faje. 

** There is Peter the Prior, and Francis the Friar, 
And Roger the Monk shall our convives be ; 

Small scandal I ween shall then be seen : 
They are a goodly companie ! ** 

The Abbot hath donned his mitre and ring, 

His rich dalmatic, and maniple fine ; 
And the choristers sing, as the lay-brothers bring 

To the board a magnificent turkey and chine. 

The turkey and chine, they are done to a nicety; 

Liver, and gizzard, and all are there ; 
Ne'er mote Lord Abbot pronounce Bciicdicite 

Over more luscious or delicate fare. 

But no pious stave he, no Pater or Ave 

Pronounced, as he gazed on that maiden's face; 

She asked him for stuffing, she asked him for gravy, 
She asked him for gizzard ; — but not for grace ! 

Yet gayly the Lord Abbot smiled, and pressed, 
And the blood-red wine in the wine-cup filled; 

And he helped his guest to a bit of the breast. 
And he sent the drumsticks down to be grilled. 

There was no lack of the old Sherris sack, 
Of Hippocras fine, or of Malmsey bright ; 

And aye, as he drained off his cup with a smack. 
He grew less pious and more polite. 

She pledged him once, and she pledged him twice, 
And she drank as Lady ought not to drink; 

And he pressed her hand 'neath the table thrice. 
And he winked as Abbot ought not to wink. 

And Peter the Prior, and Francis the Friar, 
Sat each with a napkin under his chin ; 

But Roger the Monk got excessively drunk. 

So they put him to bed, and they tucked him in' 

The lay-brothers gazed on each other, amazed; 
And Simon the Deacon, with grief and surprise, 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM j^2c 

As he peeped through the key-hole, could scarce fancy real 
The scene he beheld, or believe his own eyes. 

In his ear was ringing the Lord Abbot singing — 
He could not distinguish the words very plain. 
But 'twas all about «Cole,» and "jolly old Soul,» [fane. 

And "Fiddlers," and "Punch," and things quite as pro- 
Even Porter Paul, at the sound of such reveling. 
With fervor himself began to bless; 

For he thought he must somehow have let the Devil in 

• And perhaps was not very much out in his guess. 

The Accusing Byers* "flew up to Heaven's Chancery," 
Blushing like scarlet with shame and concern; 

The Archangel took down his tale, and in answer he 
Wept (see the works of the late Mr. Sternc). 

Indeed, it is said, a less taking both were in 
When, after a lapse of a great many years. 

They booked Uncle Toby five shillings for swearing, 
And blotted the fine out again with their tears! 

But St. Nicholas's agony who may paint? 

His senses at first were well-nigh gone; 
The beatified saint was ready to faint 

When he saw in his Abbey such sad goings on! 

For never, I ween, had such doings been seen 

There before, from the time that most excellent Prince, 

Earl Baldwin of Flanders, and other Commanders, 
Had built and endowed it some centuries since. 

— But hark— 'tis a sound from the outermost gate: 
A startling sound from a powerful blow.— 

Who knocks so late? — it is half after eight 

By the clock, —and the clock's five minutes too slow. 

Never, perhaps, had such loud double raps 
Been heard in St. Nicholas's Abbey before; 

All agreed "it was shocking to keep people knocking," 
But none seemed inclined to "answer the door.» 

Now a louder bang through the cloisters rang, 
And the gate on its hinges wide open flew; 

*The Prince of Peripatetic Informers, and terror of Stage Coachmen, 
when such things were. 



1526 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

And all were aware of a Palmer there, 

With his cockle, hat, staff, and his sandal shoe. 

Many a furrow, and many a frown, 

By toil and time on his brow were traced; 

And his long loose gown was of ginger brown, 
And his rosary dangled below his waist. 

Now seldom, I ween, is such costume seen, 
Except at a stage-play or masquerade ; 

But who doth not know it was rather the go 

With Pilgrims and Saints in the second Crusade? 

With noiseless stride did that Palmer glide 

Across that oaken floor; 
And he made them all jump, he gave such a thump 

Against the Refectory door! 

Wide open it flew, and plain to the view 

The Lord Abbot they all mote see; 
In his hand was a cup and he lifted it up, 

" Here's the Pope's good health with three ! * 

Rang in their ears three deafening cheers, 

" Huzza ! huzza ! huzza ! " 
And one of the party said, "Go it, my hearty!" — 

When outspake that Pilgrim gray — 

<*A boon, Lord Abbot! a boon! a boon! 

Worn is my foot, and empty my scrip; 
And nothing to speak of since yesterday noon 

Of food. Lord Abbot, hath passed my lip. 

*And I am come from a far countree. 
And have visited many a holy shrine; 

And long have I trod the sacred sod 

Where the Saints do rest in Palestine!" — 

**An thou art come from a far countree. 
And if thou in Paynim lands hast been, 

Now rede me aright the most wonderful sight. 
Thou Palmer gray, that thine eyes have seen. 

• Arede me aright the most wonderful sight, 
Gray Palmer, that ever thine eyes did see. 

And a manchette of bread, and a good warm bed, 
And a cup o' the best shall thy guerdon be ! " 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

* Oh ! I have been east, and I have been west. 
And I have seen many a wonderful sight; 

But never to me did it happen to see 

A wonder like that which I see this night! 

"To see a Lord Abbot, in rochet and stole. 

With Prior and Friar, — a. strange mar-velle! — 

O'er a jolly full bowl, sitting cheek by jowl. 

And hob-nobbing away with a Devil from Hell ! ** 

He felt in his gown of ginger brown. 

And he pulled out a flask from beneath; 

It was rather tough work to get out the cork, 
But he drew it at last with his teeth. 

O'er a pint and a quarter of holy water. 

He made a sacred sign; 
And he dashed the whole on the soi-disant daughter 

Of old Plantagenet's line! 

Oh ! then did she reek, and squeak, and shriek. 

With a wild unearthly scream; 
And fizzled, and hissed, and produced such a mist, 

They were all half-choked by the steam. 

Her dove-like eyes turned to coals of fire. 

Her beautiful nose to a horrible snout. 
Her hands to paws, with nasty great claws. 

And her bosom went in and her tail came out. 

On her chin there appeared a long Nanny-goat's beard, 
And her tusks and her teeth no man mote tell; 

And her horns and her hoofs gave infallible proofs 
'Twas a frightful Fiend from the nethermost hell! 

The Palmer threw down his ginger gown. 

His hat and his cockle; and, plain to sight, 

Stood St. Nicholas' self, and his shaven crown 
Had a glow-worm halo of heavenly light. 

The fiend made a grasp the Abbot to clasp ; 

But St. Nicholas lifted his holy toe. 
And, just in the nick, let fly such a kick 

On his elderly namesake, he made him let go. 

And out of the window he flew like a shot. 
For the foot flew up with a terrible thwack, 



i5»7 



1528 



RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM 

And caught the foul demon about the spot 

Where his tail joins on to the small of his back. 

And he bounded away like a foot-ball at play, 

Till into the bottomless pit he fell slap, 
Knocking Mammon the meagre o'er pursy Belphegor, 

And Lucifer into Beelzebub's lap. 

Oh ! happy the slip from his Succubine grip. 

That saved the Lord Abbot, — though breathless with 
fright, 

In escaping he tumbled, and fractured his hip, 

And his left leg was shorter thenceforth than his right! 



On the banks of the Rhine, as he's stopping to dine, 
From a certain inn-window the traveler is shown 

Most picturesque ruins, the scene of these doings. 
Some miles up the river south-east of Cologne. 

And while ''■ sauer-krauf^ she sells you, the landlady tells 
you 

That there, in those walls all roofless and bare, 
One Simon, a Deacon, from a lean grew a sleek one 

On filling a ci-da'ant Abbot's state chair. 

How a ci-drcant Abbot, all clothed in drab, but 
Of texture the coarsest, hair shirt and no shoes 

(His mitre and ring, and all that sort of thing 
Laid aside), in yon cave lived a pious recluse ; 

How he rose with the sun, limping "dot and go one," 
To yon rill of the mountain, in all sorts of weather. 

Where a Prior and a Friar, who lived somewhat higher 
Up the rock, iised to come and eat cresses together; 

How a thirsty old codger the neighbors called Roger, 
With them drank cold water in lieu of old wine ! 

What its quality wanted he made up in quantity. 
Swigging as though he woiild empty the Rhine ! 

And how, as their bodily strength failed, the mental man 
Gained tenfold vigor and force in all four; 

And how, to the day of their death, the "Old Gentleman" 
Never attempted to kidpap them more, 



SABINE BARING-GOULD 1529 

And how, when at length, in the odor of sanctity. 
All of them died without grief or complaint. 

The monks of St. Nicholas said 'twas ridiculous 
Not to suppose every one was a Saint. 

And how, in the Abbey, no one was so shabby 

As not to say yearly four masses ahead. 
On the eve of that supper, and kick on the crupper 

Which Satan received, for the souls of the dead! 

How folks long held in reverence their reliques and mem- 
ories, 

How the ci-dri'ant Abbot's obtained greater still, 
When some cripples, on touching his fractured os fei/ioris. 

Threw down their crutches and danced a quadrille ! 

And how Abbot Simon (who turned out a prime one) 
These words, which grew into a proverb full soon. 

O'er the late Abbot's grotto, stuck up as a motto, 
« W\)<i .^uppc^ with tf)E ©Etilfe jjftol&e babe a long spoone ! » 



SABINE BARING-GOULD 

(•834-) 

5he Rev. Sabine Baring-Gould was born in Exeter, England, in 
1834 The addition of Gould to the name of Baring came 
in the time of his great-grandfather, a brother of Sir 
Francis Baring, who married an only daughter and heiress of W. D. 
Gould of Devonshire. Much of the early life of Baring-Gould was 
passed in Germany and France, and at Clare College, Cambridge, 
where he graduated in 1854, taking orders ten years later, and in 
1881 becoming rector of Lew Trenchard, Devonshire, where he holds 
estates and privileges belonging to his family. 

He has worked in many fields, and in all with so much accept- 
ance that a list of his books would be the best exposition of the 
range of his untiring pen. To a gift of ready words and ready 
illustration, whether he concerns himself with diversities of early 
Christian belief, the course of country-dances in England, or the 
growth of mediaeval legends, he adds the grace of telling a tale and 
drawing a character. He has published nearly a hundred volumes, 
not one of them unreadable. But no one man may write with equal 
pen of German history, of comparative mythology and philology, o^ 




ic^o SABINE BARING-GOULD 

theological dissertations, and of the pleasures of English rural life, 
while he adds to these a long list of novels. 

His secret of popularity lies not in his treatment, which is neither 
critical nor scientific, but rather in a clever, easy, diffuse, jovial, 
amusing way of saying clearly what at the moment comes to him to 
say. His books have a certain raciness and spirit that recall the 
English squire of tradition. They rarely smell of the lamp. Now 
and then appears a strain of sturdy scholarship, leading the reader 
to wonder what his author might have accomplished had he not 
enjoyed the comfortable ease of a country justice of the peace, and| 
a rector with large landed estates, to whom his poorer neighbors' 
appear a sort of dancing puppets. 

Between 1857 and 1870, Baring-Gould had published nine volumes, 
the best known of these being < Curious Myths of the Middle Ages.' 
From 1870 to 1890 his name appeared as author on the title-page 
of forty-three books : sermons, lectures, essays, archajological treatises, 
memoirs, curiosities of literature, histories, and fiction; sixteen novels, 
tales, and romances being included. From 1890 to 1896 he published 
seventeen more novels, and many of his books have passed through 
several editions. His most successful novels are <Mehalah; a Tale of 
the Salt Marshes,* < In the Roar of the Sea,> < Red Spider,' < Richard 
Cable,' and *Noemi; a Story of Rock-Dwellers.' 

In an essay upon his fiction, Mr. J. M. Barrie writes in The Con- 
temporary Review (February, 1890): — 

« Of our eight or ten living noveli.sts who are popular by merit, few have 
greater ability than Mr. Baring-Gould. His characters are bold and forcible 
figures, his wit is as ready as his figures of speech are apt. He has a power- 
ful imagination, and is quaintly fanciful. When he describes a storm, we can 
see his trees breaking in the gale. So enormous and accurate is his general 
information that there is no trade or profession wnth which he does not seem 
familiar. So far as scientific knowledge is concerned, he is obviou.sly better 
equipped than any contemporary writer of fiction. Yet one rises from his 
books with a feeling of repulsion, or at least with the glad conviction that 
his ignoble views of life are as untrue as the characters who illustrate them. 
Here is a melancholy case of a novelist, not only clever but sincere, undone 
by want of sympathy. . . . The author's want of sympathy prevents 
<Mehalah's' rising to the highest art; for though we shudder at the end, 
there the effect of the story stops. It illustrates the futility of battling with 
fate, but the theme is not allowable to writers with the modern notion of a 
Supreme Power. . . . But <Mehalah> is still one of the most powerful 
romances of recent years." 



SABINE BARING-GOULD 1231 

ST. PATRICK'S PURGATORY 
From < Curious Myths of the Middle Ages 

IN THAT charming mediaeval romance 'Fortunatus and his Sons,' 
which by the way is a treasury of popular mythology, is an 

account of a visit paid by the favored youth to that cave of 
mystery in Lough Derg, the Purgatory of St. Patrick. 

Fortunatus, we are told, had heard in his travels of how two 
days' journey from the town Valdric, in Ireland, was a town, 
Vernic, where was the entrance to the Purgatory; so thither he 
went with many servants. He found a great abbey, and behind 
the altar of the church a door, which led into the dark cave 
which is called the Purgatory of St. Patrick. In order to enter 
it, leave had to be obtained from the abbot; consequently Leo- 
pold, servant to Fortunatus, betook himself to that worthy and 
made known to him that a nobleman from Cyprus desired to 
enter the mysterious cavern. The abbot at once requested Leo- 
pold to bring his master to supper with him. Fortiinatus bought 
a large jar of wine and sent it as a present to the monastery, 
and followed at the meal-time. 

"Venerable sir!" said Fortunatus, "I understand the Purga- 
tory of St. Patrick is here : is it so ? " 

The abbot replied, " It is so indeed. Many hiindred years 
ago, this place, where stand the abbey and the town, was a 
howling wilderness. Not far off, however, lived a venerable 
hermit, Patrick by name, who often sought the desert for the 
purpose of therein exercising his austerities. One day he lighted 
on this cave, which is of vast extent. He entered it, and wan- 
dering on in the dark, lost his way, so that he could no more 
find how to return to the light of day. After long ramblings 
through the gloomy passages, he fell on his knees and besought 
Almighty God, if it were His will, to deliver him from the great 
peril wherein he lay. Whilst Patrick thus prayed, he was ware 
of piteous cries issuing from the depths of the cave, just such as 
would be the wailings of souls in purgatory. The hermit rose 
from his orison, and by God's mercy found his way back to the 
surface, and from that day exercised greater austerities, and after 
his death he was numbered with the saints. Pious people, who 
had heard the story of Patrick's adventure in the cave, built this 
cloister on the site." 



ic^2 SABINE BARING-GOU1.D 

Then Fortimatus asked whether all who ventured into the 
place heard likewise the howls of the tormented souls. 

The abbot replied, " Some have affirmed that they have heard 
a bitter crying and piping therein; whilst others have heard and 
seen nothing. No one, however, has penetrated as yet to the 
furthest limits of the cavern." 

Fortunatus then asked permission to enter, and the abbot 
cheerfully consented, only stipulating that his guest should keep 
near the entrance and not ramble too far. as some who had 
ventured in had never returned. 

Next day er.rly, Fortunatus received the Blessed Sacrament 
with his trusty Leopold; the door of the Purgatory was unlocked, 
each was provided with a taper, and then with the blessing of 
the abbot they were left in total darkness, and the door bolted 
behind them. Both wandered on in the cave, hearing faintly the 
chanting of the monks in the church, till the sound died away. 
They traversed several passages, lost their way, their candles 
burned out, and they sat down in despair on the ground, a prey 
to hunger, thirst, and fear. 

The monks waited in the church hour after hour; and the 
visitors of the Purgatory had not returned. Day declined, ves- 
pers were sung, and still there was no sign of the two who in 
the morning had passed from the church into the cave. Then 
the servants of Fortunatus began to exhibit anger, and to insist 
on their master being restored to them. The abbot was fright- 
ened, and sent for an old man who had once penetrated far 
into the cave with a ball of twine, the end attached to the door- 
handle. This man volunteered to seek Fortunatus, and provi- 
dentially his search was successful. After this the abbot refused 
permission to any one to visit the cave. 

In the reign of Henry II. lived Henry of Saltrey, who wrote 
a history of the visit of a Knight Owen to the Purgatory of St. 
Patrick, which gained immense popularity, . . . was soon trans- 
lated into other languages, and spread the fable through mediaeval 
Europe. ... In English there are two versions. In one 
of these, * Owayne Miles, * the origin of the purgatory is thus 
described : — 

" Holy byschoppes some tyme ther were, 
That tawgte me of Goddes lore. 
In Irlonde preched Seyn Patryke; 
In that londe was non hym lyke : 



SABINE BARING-GOULD 1^33 

He prechedc Goddes worde full wyde, 

And tolde men what shullde betyde. 

Fyrste he preched of Heven blysse. 

Who ever go thyder may ryght nowgt mysse : 

Sethen he preched of Hell pyne, 

Howe wo them ys that cometh therinne: 

And then he preched of purgatory, 

As he fonde in hisstory ; 

But yet the folke of the contre 

Beleved not that hit mygth be ; 

And seyed, but gyf hit were so, 

That eny non myth hymself go. 

And se alle that, and come ageyn, 

Then wolde they beleve fayn.'* 

Vexed at the obstinacy of his hearers, St. Patrick besought 
the Almighty to make the truth manifest to the unbelievers; 
whereupon 

*' God spakke to Saynt Patryke tho 

By nam, and badde hym with Hym go: 

He ladde hym ynte a wyldernesse, 

Wher was no reste more no lesse. 

And shewed that he might se 

Inte the erthe a pry ve entre : 

Hit was yn a depe dyches ende. 

*What raon,* He sayde, 'that wylle hereyn wende. 

And dwelle theryn a day and a nyght. 

And hold his byleve and ryght. 

And come ageyn that he ne dwelle, 

Mony a mervayle he may of telle. 

And alle tho that doth thys pylgrymage, 

I shalle hem graunt for her wage. 

Whether he be sqwyer or knave, 

Other purgatorye shalle he non have.'*' 

Thereupon St. Patrick, "he ne stynte ner day ne night," till 
he had built there a " f ayr abbey, " and stocked it with pious 
canons. Then he made a door to the cave, and locked the door, 
and gave the key to the keeping of the prior. The Knight 
Owain, who had served under King Stephen, had lived a life 
of violence and dissolution; but filled with repentance, he sought 
by way of penance St. Patrick's Purgatory. Fifteen days he 
spent in preliminary devotions and alms-deeds, and then he 
heard mass, was washed with holy water, received the Holy 



1534 SABINE BARING-GOULD 

Sacrament, and followed the sacred relics in procession, whilst 
the priests sang for him the Litany, " as lowde as they mygth 
crye." Then Sir Owain was locked in the cave, and he groped 
his way onward in darkness, till he reached a glimmering light; 
this brightened, and he came out into an underground land, 
where was a great hall and cloister, in which were men with 
shaven heads and white garments. These men informed the 
knight how he was to protect himself against the assaults of 
evil spirits. After having received this instruction, he heard 
**grete dynn," and 

** Then come ther develes on every syde, 
Wykked gostes, I wote, fro Helle, 
So mony that no tonge mygte telle: 
They fylled the hows yn two rowes; 
Some grenned on hym and some mad mowes.'* 

He then visits the different places of torment. In one, the 
soiils are nailed to the ground with glowing hot brazen nails; in 
another they are fastened to the soil by their hair, and are 
bitten by fiery reptiles. In another, again, they are hiing over 
fires by those members which had sinned, whilst others are 
roasted on spits. In one place were pits in which were molten 
metals. In these pits were men and women, some up to their 
chins, others to their breasts, others to their hams. The knight 
was pushed by the devils into one of these pits and was dread- 
fully scalded, but he cried to the Savior and escaped. Then 
he visited a lake where souls were tormented with great cold; 
and a river of pitch, which he crossed on a frail and narrow 
bridge. Beyond this bridge was a wall of glass, in which opened 
a beautiful gate, which conducted into Paradise. This place so 
delighted him that he would fain have remained in it had he 
been suffered, but he was bidden return to earth and finish 
there his penitence. He was put into a shorter and pleasanter 
way back to the cave than that by which he had come; and the 
prior found the knight next morning at the door, waiting to be 
let out, and full of his adventures. He afterwards went on a 
pilgrimage to the Holy Land, and ended his life in piety. . . . 

Froissart tells us of a conversation he had with one Sir Will- 
iam Lisle, who had been in the Purgatory. " I asked him of 
what sort was the cave that is in Ireland, called St. Patrick's 
Purgatory, and if that were true which was related of it. He 



SABINE BARING-GOULD j^^e 

replied that there certainly was such a cave, for he and another 
English knight had been there whilst the king was at Dublin, 
and said that they entered the cave, and were shut in as the 
sun set, and that they remained there all night and left it next 
morning at sunrise. And then I asked if he had seen the 
strange sights and visions spoken of. Then he said that when 
he and his companion had passed the gate of the Purgatory of 
St. Patrick, that they had descended as though into a cellar, 
and that a hot vapor rose towards them and so affected their 
heads that they were obliged to sit down on the stone steps. 
And after sitting there awhile they felt heavy with sleep, and 
so fell asleep, and slept all night. Then I asked if they knew 
where they were in their sleep, and what sort of dreams they 
had had; he answered that they had been oppressed with many 
fancies and wonderful dreams, different from those they were 
accustomed to in their chambers; and in the morning when they 
went out, in a short while they had clean forgotten their dreams 
and visions; wherefore he concluded that the whole matter was 
fancy. " 

The next to give us an account of his descent into St. Pat- 
rick's Purgatory is William Staunton of Durham, who went down 
into the cave on the Friday next after the feast of Holyrood, in 
the year 1409. 

" I was put in by the Prior of St. Matthew, of the same Pur- 
gatory, with procession and devout prayers of the prior, and the 
convent gave me an orison to bless ine with,- and to write the 
first word in my forehead, the which pra3^er is this, *Jhesu 
Christe, Fili Dei vivi, miserere mihi peccatori.' And the prior 
taught me to say this prayer when any spirit, good or evil, ap- 
peared unto me, or when I heard any noise that I should be 
afraid of." When left in the cave, William fell asleep, and 
dreamed that he saw coming to him St. John of Bridlington 
and St. Ive, who undertook to conduct him through the scenes 
of mystery. After they had proceeded a while, William was 
found to be gnilty of a trespass against Holy Church, of which 
he had to be purged before he could proceed much further. Of 
this trespass he was accused by his sister, who appeared in the 
way. " I make my complaint unto you against my brother that 
here standeth; for this man that standeth hereby loved me, and 
I loved him, and either of us would. have had the other accord- 
ing to God's law, as Holy Church teaches, and I should have 



1536 SABINE BARING-GOULD 

gotten of me three souls to God, but my brother hindered us 
from marrying." St. John of BridHngton then turned to Will- 
iam, and asked him why he did not allow the two who loved 
one another to be married. « I tell thee there is no man that 
hmdereth man or woman from being united in the bond of God 
though the man be a shepherd and all his ancestors and the 
woman be come of kings or of emperors, or if the man be come 
of never so high kin and the woman of never so low kin, if 
they love one another, but he sinneth in Holy Church against 
God and his deed, and therefore he shall have much pain and 
tribulations." Being assoiled of this crying sin, St. John takes 
William to a fire "grete and styngkyng,» in which he sees peo- 
ple burning in their gay clothes. «I saw some with collars of 
gold about their necks, and some of silver, and some men I saw 
with gay girdles of silver and gold, and harnessed with horns 
about their necks, some with mo jaggcs on their clothes than 
whole cloth, others full of jingles and bells of silver all over set, 
and some with long pokes on their sleeves, and women with 
gowns trailing behind them a long space, and some with chap- 
lets on their heads of gold and pearls and other precious stones. 
And I looked on him that I saw first in pain, and saw the 
collars and gay girdles and baldrics burning, and the fiends 
dragging him by two fingermits. And I saw the jcarges that 
men were clothed in turn all to adders, to dragons^and to 
toads, and <many other orrible bestes,> sucking them, and biting 
them, and stinging them with all their might, and through every 
jingle I saw fiends smite burning nails of fire into their flesh. 
I also saw fiends drawing down the skin of their shoulders like 
to pokes, and cutting them off, and drawing them to the heads 
of those they cut them from, all burning as fire. And then I 
saw the women that had side trails behind them, and the side 
trails cut off by the fiends and burned on their head; and some 
took of the cutting all burning and stopped therewith their 
mouths, their noses, and their ears. I saw also their gay chap- 
lets of gold and pearls and precious stones turned into nails of 
iron, burning, and fiends with burning hammers smiting them 
into their heads." These were proud and vain people.' Then 
he saw another fire, where the fiends were putting out people's 
eyes and pouring molten brass and lead into the sockets, and 
tearing off their arms and the nails of their feet and hands, 
and soldering them on again. This was the doom of swearers.' 



SABINE BARING-GOULD j , 

William saw other fires wherein the devils were executing tor- 
tures varied and horrible on their unfortunate victims. We need 
follow him no further. 

At the end of the fifteenth century the Purgatory in Lough 
Derg was destroyed by orders of the Pope, on hearing the 
report of a monk of Eymstadt in Holland, who had visited it, 
and had satisfied himself that there was nothing in it more 
remarkable than in any ordinary cavern. The Purgatory was 
closed on St. Patrick's Day, 1497; but the belief in it was not so 
speedily banished from popular superstition. Calderon made it 
the subject of one of his dramas; and it became the subject of 
numerous popular chap-books in France and Spain, where during 
last century it occupied in the religious belief of the people pre- 
cisely the same position which is assumed by the marvelous 
visions of heaven and hell sold by hawkers in England at the 
present day. 



THE CORNISH WRECKERS 
From <The Vicar of Monvensto\v> 

WHEN the Rev. R. S. Hawker came to Monvenstow in 1834, 
he found that he had much to contend with, not only in 
the external condition of church and vicarage, but also in 
that which is of greater importance. 

«The farmers of the parish were simple-hearted and respect- 
able; but the denizens of the hamlet, after receiving the wages 
of the harvest time, eked out a precarious existence in the win- 
ter, and watched eagerly and expectantly for the shipwrecks that 
were certain to happen, and upon the plunder of which they 
surely calculated for the scant provision of their families. The 
wrecked goods supplied them with the necessaries of life, and 
the rended planks of the dismembered vessel contributed to the 
warmth of the hovel hearthstone. 

"When Mr. Hawker came to Morwenstow, < the cruel and 
covetous natives of the strand, the wreckers of the seas and 
rocks for flotsam and jetsam, > held as an axiom and an injunc- 
tion to be strictly obeyed: — 



« < 



•Save a stranger from the sea, 
And he'll turn your enemy !> 
"1— Q7 



1538 



SABINE BARING-GOULD 



" The Morwenstow wreckers allowed a fainting brother to 
perish in the sea before their eyes without extending a hand of 
safety, — nay, more, for the egotistical canons of a shipwreck, 
superstitionsly obeyed, permitted and absolved the criine of mur- 
der by * shoving the drowning man into the sea, * to be swallowed 
by the waves. Cain ! Cain ! where is thy brother ? And the 
wrecker of Morwenstow answered and pleaded in excuse, as in 
the case of undiluted brandy after meals, * It is Cornish custom.* 
The illicit spirit of Cornish custom was supplied by the smuggler, 
and the gold of the wreck paid him for the cursed abomination 
of drink." 

One of Mr. Hawker's parishioners, Peter Barrow, had been 
for full forty years a wrecker, but of a much more harmless 
description : he had been a watcher of the coast for such objects 
as the waves might turn up to reward his patience. Another 
was Tristam Pentirc, a hero of contraband adventure, and agent 
for sale of smuggled cargoes in bygone times. With a merry 
twinkle of the eye, and in a sharp and ringing tone, he loved to 
tell sucTi tales of wild adventure and of ** derring do, " as would 
make the foot of the exciseman falter and his cheek turn pale. 

During the latter years of last century there lived in Well- 
combe, one of Mr. Hawker's parishes, a man whose name is still 
remembered with terror — Cruel Coppinger. There are people 
still alive who remember his wife. 

Local recollections of the man have molded themselves into 
the rhyme — 

<* Will you hear of Cruel Coppinger ? 
He came from a foreign land : 
He was brought to us by the salt water, 
He was carried away by the wind ! ** 

His arrival on the north coast of Cornwall was signalized by 
a terrific hurricane. The storm came up Channel from the south- 
west. A strange vessel of foreign rig went on the reefs of Harty 
Race, and was broken to pieces by the waves. The only man 
who came ashore was the skipper. A crowd was gathered on the 
sand, on horseback and on foot, women as well as men, drawn 
together by the tidings of a probable wreck. Into their midst 
rushed the dripping stranger, and bounded suddenly upon the 
crupper of a young damsel who had ridden to the beach to see 
the sight. He grasped her bridle, and shouting in some foreign 



SABINE BARING-GOULD 153^ 

tongue, urged the double-laden animal into full speed, and the 
horse naturally took his homeward way. The damsel was Miss 
Dinah Hamlyn. The stranger descended at her father's door, and 
lifted her off her saddle. He then announced himself as a Dane, 
named Coppinger. He took his place at the family board, and 
there remained until he had secured the affections and hand of 
Dinah. The father died, and Coppinger at once succeeded to the 
management and control of the house, which thenceforth became 
a den and refuge of every lawless character along the coast. All 
kinds of wild uproar and reckless revelry appalled the neighbor- 
hood day and night. It was discovered that an organized band 
of smugglers, wreckers, and poachers made this house their ren- 
dezvous, and that " Cruel Coppinger " was their captain. In those 
days, and in that far-away region, the peaceable inhabitants were 
unprotected. There w^as not a single resident gentleman of prop- 
erty and weight in the entire xiistrict. No revenue officer durst 
exercise vigilance west of the Tamar; and to put an end to all 
such surveillance at once, the head of a ganger was chopped off 
by one of Coppinger's gang on the gunwale of a boat. 

Strange vessels began to appear at regular intervals on the 
coast, and signals were flashed from the headlands to lead them 
into the safest creek or cove. Amongst these vessels, one, a full- 
rigged schooner, soon became ominously conspicuous. She was 
for long the chief terror of the Cornish Channel. Her name was 
The Black Prince. Once, with Coppinger on board, she led a 
revenue-cutter into an intricate channel near the Bull Rock, 
where, from knowledge of the bearings, The Black Prince 
escaped scathless, while the king's vessel perished with all on 
board. In those times, if any landsman became obnoxious to 
Coppinger's men, he was seized and carried on board The 
Black Prince, and obliged to save his life by enrolling himself 
in the crew. In 1835, ^^ o^^ man of the age of ninety-seven 
related to Mr. Hawker that he had been so abducted, and after 
tW'O years' service had been ransomed by his friends with a large 
sum. " And all, '* said the old man very simply, '* because I hap- 
pened to see one man kill another, and they thought I would 
mention it." 

Amid such practices, ill-gotten gold began to flow and ebb in 
the hands of Coppinger. At one time he had enough money to 
purchase a freehold farm bordering on the sea. When the day 
of transfer came, he and one of his followers appeared before 



1 540 SABINE BARING-GOULD 

the lawyer and paid the money in dollars, ducats, doubloons, 
and pistoles. The man of law demurred, but Coppinger with an 
oath bade him take this or none. The document bearing Cop- 
pinger's name is still extant. His signature is traced in stern 
bold characters, and under his aiitograph is the word ** Thuro '* 
(thorough) also in his own handwriting. 

Long impunity increased Coppinger's daring. There were 
certain bridle roads along the fields over which he exercised 
exclusive control. He issued orders that no man was to pass 
over them by night, and accordingly from that hour none ever 
did. They were called "Coppinger's Tracks." They all con- 
verged at a headland which had the name of Steeple Brink. 
Here the cliff sheered off, and stood three hundred feet of per- 
pendicular height, a precipice of smooth rock towards the beach, 
with an overhanging face one hundred feet down from the brow. 
Under this was a cave, only reached by a cable ladder lowered 
from above, and made fast below on a projecting crag. It 
received the name of ** Coppinger's Cave. *' Here sheep were 
tethered to the rock, and fed on stolen hay and corn till slaugh- 
tered; kegs of brandy and hollands were piled around; chests of 
tea; and iron-bound sea-chests contained the chattels and reve- 
nues of the Coppinger royalty of the sea. 

But the end arrived. Money became scarce, and more than 
one armed king's cutter was seen day and night hovering off the 
land. So he "who came with the water went with the wind." 
His disappearance, like his arrival, was commemorated by a 
storm. 

A wrecker who had gone to watch the shore, saw, as the sun 
went down, a fnll-rigged vessel standing off and on. Coppinger 
came to the beach, put off in a boat to the vessel, and jumped 
on board. She spread canvas, stood off shore, and with Cop- 
pinger in her was seen no more. That night was one of storm. 
Whether the vessel rode it out, or was lost, none knew. 

In 1864 a large ship was seen in distress off the coast. The 
Rev. A. Thynne, rector of Kilkhampton, at once drove to Mor- 
wenstow. The vessel was riding at anchor a mile off shore, 
west of Hartland Race. He found Mr. Hawker in the greatest 
excitement, pacing his room and shouting for some things he 
wanted to put in his greatcoat-pockets, and intensely impatient 
because his carriage was not round. With him was the Rev. W. 



SABINE BARING-GOULD I^^^I 

Valentine, rector of Whixley in Yorkshire, then resident at 
Chapel in the parish of Morwenstow. 

" What are you going to do ? " asked the rector of Kilkhamp- 
ton : " I shall drive at once to Biide for the lifeboat. " 

" No good ! " thundered the vicar, " no good comes out of the 
west. You must go east. I shall go to Clovelly, and then, if 
that fails, to Appledore. I shall not stop till I have got a life- 
boat to take those poor fellows off the wreck." 

" Then, ** said the rector of Kilkhampton, ** I shall go to Bude, 
and see to the lifeboat there being brought out." 

" Do as you like ; but mark my words, no good comes of 
turning to the west. Why," said he, "in the primitive church 
they turned to the west to renounce the Devil." 

His carriage came to the door, and he drove off with Mr. 
Valentine as fast as his horses could spin him along the hilly, 
wretched roads. 

Before he reached Clovelly, a boat had put off with the mate 
from the ship, which was the Margaret Quail, laden with salt. 
The captain would not leave the vessel ; for, till deserted by him, 
no salvage could be claimed. The mate was picked up on the 
way, and the three reached Clovelly. 

Down the street proceeded the following procession — the 
street of Clovelly being a flight of stairs: — 

First, the vicar of Morwenstow in a claret-colored coat, with 
long tails flying in the gale, blue knitted jersey, and pilot-boots, 
his long silver locks fluttering about his head. He was appeal- 
ing to the fishermen and sailors of Clovelly to put out in their 
lifeboat to rescue the crew of the Margaret Quail. The men 
stood sulky, lounging about with folded arms, or hands in their 
pockets, and sou' -westers slouched over their brows. The women 
were screaming at the tops of their voices that they would not 
have their husbands and sons and sweethearts enticed away to 
risk their lives to save wrecked men. Above the clamor of their 
shrill tongues and the sough of the wind rose the roar of the 
vicar's voice : he was convulsed with indignation, and poured 
forth the most sacred appeals to their compassion for drowning 
sailors. 

Second in the procession moved the Rev. W. Valentine, with 
purse full of gold in his hand, offering any amount of money to 
the Clovelly men, if they would only gO forth in the lifeboat to 
the wreck. 



1242 SABINE BARING-GOULD 

Third came the mate of the Margaret Quail, restrained by 
no consideration of cloth, swearing and damning right and left, 
in a towering rage at the cowardice of the Clovelly men. 

Fourth came John, the servant of Mr. Hawker, with bottles 
of whisky under his arm, another inducement to the men to 
relent and be merciful to their imperiled brethren. 

The first appeal was to their love of heaven and to their 
humanity; the second was to their pockets, their love of gold; 
the third to their terrors, their fear of Satan, to whom they were 
consigned; and the fourth to their stomachs, their love of grog. 

But all appeals were in vain. Then Mr. Hawker returned to 
his carriage, and drove away farther east to Appledore, where 
he secured the lifeboat. It was mounted on a wagon; ten horses 
were harnessed to it; and as fast as possible it was conveyed 
to the scene of distress. 

But in the mean while the captain of the Margaret Quail, 
despairing of help and thinking that his vessel would break up 
imder him, came off in his boat with the rest of the crew, trust- 
ing rather to a rotten boat, patched with canvas which they had 
tarred over, than to the tender mercies of the covetous Clovellites, 
in whose veins ran the too recent blood of wreckers. The only 
living being left on board was a poor dog. 

No sooner was the captain seen to leave the ship than the 
Clovelly men lost their repugnance to go to sea. They manned 
boats at once, gained the Margaret Quail, and claimed three 
thousand pounds for salvage. 

There was an action in court, as the owners refused to pay 
such a simi; and it was lost by the Clovelly men, who however 
got an award of twelve hundred pounds. The case turned some- 
what on the presence of the dog on the wreck ; and it was argued 
that the vessel was not deserted, because a dog had been left on 
board to keep guard for its masters. The owner of the cargo 
failed; and the amount actually paid to the salvors was six hun- 
dred pounds to two steam-tugs (three hundred pounds each); and 
three hundred pounds to the Clovelly skiff and sixteen men. 

Mr. Hawker went round the country indignantly denouncing 
the sailors of Clovelly, and with justice. It roused all the right- 
eous wrath in his breast. And as may well be believed, no love 
was borne him by the inhabitants of that little fishing village. 
They would probably have made a wreck of him had he ven- 
tured among them. 



1543 




JANE BARLOW 

(1 8-) 

JHE general reader has yet to learn the most private and 
sacred events of Miss Jane Barlow's life, now known only to 
herself and friends. She is the daughter of Dr. Barlow of 
Trinity College, and lives in the seclusion of a cottage at Raheny, a 
hamlet near Dublin. Her family has been in Ireland for generations, 
and she comes of German and Norman stock. As some one has said, 
the knowledge and skill displayed in depicting Irish peasant life, 
which her books show, are hers not through 
Celtic blood and affinities, but by a sym- 
pathetic genius and inspiration. 

The publication of her writings in book 
form was preceded by the appearance of 
some poems and stories in the magazines, 
the Dublin University Review of 1885 con- 
taining < Walled Out ; or, Eschatology in a 
Bog.* < Irish Idyls' (1892), and <Bogland 
Studies* (of the same year), show the same 
pitiful, sombre pictures of Irish peasant 
life about the sodden-roofed mud hut and 
".pitaties" boiling, which only a genial, 
impulsive, generous, light-hearted, half- 
Greek and half-philosophic people coiild 

make endurable to the reader or attractive to the writer. The innate 
sweetness of the Irish character, which the author brings out with 
fine touches, makes it worth portrayal. "It is safe to say,* writes a 
critic, " that the philanthropist or the political student interested in 
the eternal Irish problem will learn more from Miss Barlow's twin 
volumes than from a dozen Royal Commissions and a hundred Blue 
Books." Her sympathy constantly crops out, as, for instance, in the 
mirthful tale of * Jerry Dtmne's Basket,* where — 

«Andy Joyce had an ill-advi.sed predilection for seeing things which he 
called <dacint and proper* about him, and he built some highly superior 
sheds on the lawn, to the bettering, no doubt, of his cattle's condition. The 
abrupt raising of his rent by fifty per cent, was a broad hint which most 
men would have taken ; and it did keep Andy ruefully quiet for a season 
or two. Then, however, having again saved up a trifle, he could not 
resist the temptation to drain the swampy corner of the farthest river-field 




Jane Barlow 



1544 JANE BARLOW 

which was as kind a bit of land as you could wish, only for the water lying 
on it, and in which he afterward raised himself a remarkably fine crop of 
white oats. The sight of them <done his heart good,> he said, exultantly, 
nothing recking that it was the last touch of farmer's pride he would ever 
feel. Yet on the next quarter-day the Joyces received notice to quit, and 
their landlord determined to keep the vacated holding in his own hands-, 
those new sheds were just the thing for his young stock. Andy, in fact, had 
done his best to improve himself off the face of the earth. » 

The long story which Miss Barlow has published, ' Kerrigan's 
Quality* (1894), is told with her distinguishing charm, but the book 
has not the close-knit force of the * Idyls. * Miss Barlow herself pre- 
fers the * Bogland Studies,* because, she says, they are "a sort of 
poetry.** "I had set my heart too long upon being a poet ever to 
give up the idea quite contentedly; *the old hope is hardest to be 
lost.* A real poet I can never be, as I have, I fear, nothing of the 
lyrical faculty; and a poet without that is worse than a bird without 
wings, so, like Mrs. Browning's Nazianzen, I am doomed to look <at 
the lyre hung out of reach.*** 

Besides the three books named, Miss Barlow has published *Mockus 
of the Shallow Waters* (1893); <The End of Elfintown * (1894); < The 
Battle of the Frogs and Mice in English* (1894); < Maureen's Fairing 
and other Stories* (1895); and 'Strangers at Lisconnel,* a second 
series of < Irish Idyls* (1895). In the last book we again have the 
sorrows and joys of the small hamlet in the west of Ireland, where 
"the broad level spreads away and away to the horizon before and 
behind and on either side of you, very sombre-hued, yet less black- 
a-vised than more frequent bergs,** where in the distance the mount- 
ains "loom up on its borders much less substantial, apparently, in 
fabric than so many spirals of blue turf smoke,** and where the 
curlew's cry " can set a whole landscape to melancholy in one 
chromatic phrase.** 



THE WIDOW JOYCE'S CLOAK 
From < Strangers at Lisconnel > 

STiM,, although the Tinkers' name has become a byword among 
us th rough a long series of petty offenses rather than any 
one flagrant crime, there is a notable misdeed on record 
against them, which has never been forgotten in the lapse of 
many years. It was perpetrated soon after the dcalli of Mrs. 
Kilfoyle's mother, the Widow Joyce, an event which is but dimly 
recollected now at Lisconnel, as nearly half a century has gone by. 



JANE BARLOW Ij^j^- 

She did not very long survive her husband, and he had left his 
roots behind in his little place at Clonmena, where, as we know, 
he had farmed not wisely but too well, and had been put out of 
it for his pains to expend his energ-y upon our oozy black sods 
and stark-white bowlders. But instead he moped about, fretting 
for his fair green fields, and few proudly cherished beasts, — 
especially the little old Kerry cow. And at his funeral the 
neighbors said, " Ah, bedad, poor man, God help him, he niver 
held up his head agin from that good day to this. " 

When Mrs. Joyce felt that it behooved her to settle her 
affairs, she found that the most important possession she had to 
dispose of was her large cloak. She had acquired it at the pros- 
perous time of her marriage, and it was a very superior specimen 
of its kind, in dark-blue cloth being superfine, and its ample 
capes and capacious hood being double-lined and quilted and 
stitched in a way which I cannot pretend to describe, bi:t which 
made it a most substantial and handsome garment. If Mrs. 
Joyce had been left entirely to her own choice in the matter, I 
think she would have bequeathed it to her younger daughter 
Theresa, notwithstanding that custom clearly designated Bessy 
Kilfoyle, the eldest of the family, as the heiress. For she said 
to herself that poor Bessy had her husband and childer to con- 
sowl her, any way, but little Theresa, the crathur, had ne'er such 
a thing at all, and wouldn't have, not she, God love her. "And 
the back of me hand to some I could name." It seemed to her 
that to leave the child the cloak would be almost like keeping a 
warm wing spread over her in the cold wide world; and there 
was no fear that Bessy would take it amiss. 

But Theresa herself protested strongly against such a disposi- 
tion, urging for one thing that sure she'd be lost in it entirely 
if ever she put it on; a not unfounded objection, as Theresa was 
several sizes smaller than Bessy, and even she fell far short of 
her mother in stature and portliness. Theresa also said confi- 
dently with a sinking heart, ** But sure, anj-hov/, mother jewel, 
what matter about it ? 'Twill be all gone to houles and flitters 
and thraneens, and so it will, plase goodness, afore there's any 
talk of anybody else wearin' it except your own ould self.'* And 
she expressed much the same conviction one day to her next- 
door neighbor, old Biddy Ryan, to whom she had run in for the 
loan of a sup of sour milk, which Mrs. Joyce fancied. To 
Biddy's sincere regret she could offer Theresa barely a skimpy 



1^46 JANE BARLOW 

noggin of milk, and only a meagre shred of encouragement; and 
by way of eking out the latter with its sorry substitute, consola- 
tion, she said as she tilted the jug perpendicularly to extract its 
last drop: — 

** Well, sure, me dear, I do be sayin' me prayers for her 
every sun goes over our heads that she might be left wid you 
this great while yet; 'deed, I do so. But ah, acushla, if we could 
be keepin' people that-a-way, would there be e'er a funeral iver 
goin' black on the road at all at all ? I'm thinkin' there's scarce 
a one livin', and he as ould and foolish and little -good-f or as you 
plase, but some crathur'ill be grudgin' him to his grave, that's 
himself may be all the while wishin' he was in it. Or, morebe- 
token, how can we tell what quare ugly misfortin' thim that's 
took is took out of the road of, that we should be as good as 
biddin' thim stay till it comes to ruinate them ? So it's prayin' 
away I am, honey,'* said old Biddy, whom Theresa could not 
help hating heart-sickly. ** But like enough the Lord might know 
better than to be mindin' a word I say." 

And it seemed that He did; anyway, the day soon came when 
the heavy blue cloak passed into Mrs. Kilfoyle's possession. 

At that time it was clear, still autumn weather, with just a 
sprinkle of frost white on the wayside grass, like the wraith of 
belated moonlight, when the sun rose, and shimmering into rain- 
bow stars by noon. But about a month later the winter swooped 
suddenly on Lisconnel : with wild winds and cold rain that made 
crystal-silver streaks down the purple of the great mountain- 
heads peering in over our bogland. 

So one perishing Saturday Mrs. Kilfoyle made up her mind 
that she would wear her warm legacy on the bleak walk to Mass 
next morning, and reaching it down from where it was stored 
away among the rafters wrapped in an old sack, she shook it 
respectfully out of its straight-creased folds. As she did so she 
noticed that the binding of the hood had ripped in one place, 
and that the lining was fraying out, a mishap which should be 
promptly remedied before it spread any further. She was not 
a very expert needlewoman, and she thought she had better run 
over the way to consult Mrs. O'Driscoll, then a young matron, 
esteemed the handiest and most helpful person in Lisconnel. 

" It's the nathur of her to be settin' things straight wherever 
she goes,'* Mrs. Kilfoyle said to herself as she stood in her 
doorway waiting for the rain to clear off, and looking across the 



JANE BARLOW 1 547 

road to the sodden roof which sheltered her neighbor's head. 
It had long been lying low, vanquished by a trouble which even 
she could not set to rights, and some of the older people say 
that things have gone a little crookeder in Lisconnel ever since. 
The shower was a vicious one, with the sting of sleet and 
hail in its drops, pelted about by gusts that ruffled up the 
puddles into ripples, all set on end, like the feathers of a fright- 
ened hen. The hens themselves stood disconsolately sheltering 
under the bank, mostly on one leg, as if they preferred to keep 
up the slightest possible connection with such a very damp and 
disagreeable earth. You could not see far in any direction for 
the fluttering sheets of mist, and a stranger who had been com- 
ing along the road from Duffclane stepped out of them abniptly 
quite close to Mrs. Kilfoyle's door, before she knew that there 
was anybody near. He was a tall, elderl)^ man, gaunt and 
grizzled, ver}^ ragged, and so miserable-looking that Mrs. Kil- 
foyle could have felt nothing but compassion for him had he 
not carried over his shoulder a bimch of shiny cans, which was 
to her mind as satisfactory a passport as a ticket of leave. For 
although these were yet rather early days at Lisconnel, the 
Tinkers had already begun to establish their reputation. So 
when he stopped in front of her and said, " Good-day, ma'am, " 
she only replied distantly, "It's a hardy mornin'," and hoped 
he w^ould move on. But he said, "It's cruel coi;ld, ma'am," and 
continued to stand looking at her with wide and woful eyes, in 
which she conjectured — erroneously, as it happened — hunger 
for warmth or food. Under these circumstances, what could be 
done by a woman who was conscious of owning a redly glowing 
hearth with a big black pot, fairly well filled, clucking and 
bobbing upon it ? To possess such wealth as this, and think 
seriously of withholding a share from anybody who urges the 
incontestable claim of wanting it, is a mood altogether foreign 
to Lisconnel, where the responsibilities of poverty are no doubt 
very imperfectly understood. Accordingly Mrs. Kilfoyle said to 
the tattered tramp, " Ah, thin, step inside and have a couple of 
hot pitaties. " And when he accepted the invitation without much 
alacrity, as if he had something else on his mind, she picked for 
him out of the steam two of the biggest potatoes, whose earth- 
colored skins, cracking, showed a fair flouriness within ; and she 
shook a little heap of salt, the only relish she had, onto the 



1548 JANE BARLOW 

chipped white plate as she handed it to him, saying, " Sit you 
down be the fire, there, and git a taste of the heat." 

Then she Hfted her old shawl over her head, and ran out to 
see where at all Brian and Thady were gettin' their deaths on 
her under the pours of rain; and as she passed the Keoghs' 
adjacent door — which was afterward the Sheridans', whence their 
Larry departed so reluctantly — young Mrs. Keogh called her to 
come in and look at "the child," who, being a new and unique 
possession, was liable to develop alarmmgly strange symptoms, 
and had now " woke up wid his head that hot, you might as 
well put your hand on the hob of the grate.'" Mrs. Kilfoyle 
stayed only long enough to suggest, as a possible remedy, a drop 
of two-milk whey. " But ah, sure, woman dear, where at all 'ud 
we come by that, wid the crathur of a goat scarce wettin' the 
bottom of the pan ? ** and to draw reassuring omens from the 
avidity with which the invalid grabbed at a sugared crust. In 
fact, she was less than five minutes out of her house; but when 
she returned to it, she found it empty. First, she noted with a 
moderate thrill of surprise that her visitor had gone away leav- 
ing his potatoes untouched; and next, with a rough shock of 
dismay, that her cloak no longer lay on the window seat where 
she had left it. From that moment she never felt any real 
doubts about what had befallen her, though for some time she 
kept on trying to conjure them up, and searched wildly round 
and round and round her little room, like a distracted bee 
strayed into the hollow furze-bush, before she sped over to Mrs. 
O'DriscoU with the news of her loss. 

It spread rapidly through Lisconnel, and brought the neigh- 
bors together exclaiming and condoling, though not in great 
force, as there was a fair going on down beyant, which nearly 
all the men and some of the women had attended. This was 
accounted cruel unlucky, as it left the place without any one 
able-bodied and active enough to go in pursuit of the thief. A 
prompt start might have overtaken him, especially as he was 
said to be a "thriflc lame-futtcd "; though Mrs. M'Gurk, who had 
seen him come down the hill, opined that " 'twasn't the sort of 
lameness 'ud hinder the miscreant of steppin' out, on'y a quare 
manner of flourish he had in a one of his knees, as if he was 
gatherin' himself up to make an offer at a grasshopper's lep, and 
then thinkin' better of it.'* 



JANE BARLOW ic^c, 

Little Thady Kilfoyle repoi-tcd that he had met the strange 
man a bit down the road, " leggin' it along at a great rate, wid 
a black rowl of somethin' under his arm that he looked to be 
crumplin' up as small as he could," — the word "crumpling" 
went acutely to Mrs. Kilfoyle's heart, — and some long-sighted 
people declared that they could still catch glimpses of a receding 
figure through the hovering fog on the way toward Sallinbeg. 

"I'd think he'd be beyant seein' afore now," said Mrs. Kil- 
foyle, who stood in the rain, the disconsolate centre of the group 
about her door; all women and children except old Johnny Keogh, 
who was so bothered and deaf that he grasped new situations 
slowly and feebly, and had now an impression of somebody's 
house being on fire. " He must ha' took off wid himself the 
instiant me back was turned, for ne'er a crumb had he touched 
of the pitaties. " 

"Maybe he'd that much shame in him," said Mrs. O'Driscoll. 

"They'd a right to ha' choked him, troth and they had," said 
Ody Rafferty's aunt. 

"Is it chokin' ? " said young Mrs. M'Gurk, bitterly. "Sure the 
bigger thief a body is, the. more he'll thrive on whatever he gits; 
you might think villiny was as good as butter to people's pitaties, 
you might so. Shame how are you ? Liker he'd ate all he could 
swally in the last place he got the chance of layin' his hands on 
anythin'. " 

" Och, woman alive, but it's the fool you were to let him out 
of your sight," said Ody Rafferty's aunt. " If it had been me, I'd 
niver ha' took me eyes off him, for the look of him on'y goin' by 
made me flesh creep upon me bones. " 

"'Deed was I," said Mrs. Kilfoyle, sorrowfully, "a fine fool. 
And vexed she'd be, rael vexed, if she guessed the way it was 
gone on us, for the dear knows what dirty ould rapscallions 'ill 
get the wearin' of it now. Rael vexed she'd be." 

This speculation w^as more saddening than the actual loss of 
the cloak, though that bereft her wardrobe of far and away its 
most valuable property, which should have descended as an heir- 
loom to her little Katty, who, however, being at present but 
three months old, lay sleeping happily unaware of the cloud that 
had come over her prospects. 

"I wish to goodness a couple of the lads 'ud step home wid 
themselves this minit of time," said Mrs. M'Gurk. "They'd come 
up wid him yet, and take it off of him ready enough. And 



jccQ JANE BARLOW 

smash his ugly head for him, if he would be givin' them any 
impidence.'* 

"Aye, and 'twould be a real charity — the mane baste; — or 
sling him in one of the bog-houles, " said the elder Mrs. Keogh, 
a mild-looking little old woman. "I'd liefer than nine nine- 
pennies see thim comin' along. But I'm afeard it's early for 
thim yet. ** 

Everybody's eyes turned, as she spoke, toward the ridge of 
the Knockawn, though with no particular expectation of seeing 
what they wished upon it. But behold, just at that moment 
three figures, blurred among the gray rain-mists, looming into 
view. 

"Be the powers,'* said Mrs. M'Gurk, jubilantly, "it's Ody 
Rafferty himself. To your sowls! Now you've a great good 
chance, ma'am, to be gcttin' it back. He's the boy 'ill leg it over 
all before him" — for in those days Ody was lithe and limber — 
"and it's hard-set the thievin' Turk 'ill be to get the better of 
him at a racin' match — Hi — Och." She had begun to hail him 
with a call eager and shrill, which broke off in a strangled croak, 
like a young cock's unsuccessful effort. . "Och, murdher, murdher, 
murdher," she said to the bystanders, in a disgusted undertone. 
"I'll give you me misfort'nit word thim other two is the pdlis. " 

Now it might seem on the face of things that the arrival of 
those two active and stalwart civil servants would have been 
welcomed as happening just in the nick of time; yet it argues an 
alien ignorance to suppose such a view of the matter by any 
means possible. The men in invisible green tunics belonged com- 
pletely to the category of pitaty-blights, rint-warnin's, fevers, and 
the like devastators of life, that dog a man more or less all 
through it, but close in on him, a pitifiil quarry, when the bad 
seasons come and the childcr and the old crathurs are starvin' 
wid the himger, and his own heart is broke; therefore, to accept 
assistance from them in their official capacity would have been a 
proceeding most reprchensibly unnatural. To put a private quarrel 
or injury into the hands of the peelers were a disloyal making of 
terms with the public foe; a condoning of great permanent 
wrongs for the sake of a trivial temporary convenience. Lisconncl 
has never been skilled in the profitable and ignoble art of utiliz- 
ing its enemies. Not that anybody was more than vaguely 
conscious of these sentiments, much less attempted to express 
them in set terms. When a policeman appeared there in an 



JANE BARLOW 1 55 1 

inquiring mood, what people said among themselves was, ** Musha 
cock him up. I hope he'll get his health till I would be tellin' 
him,'* or words to that effect; while in reply to his questions, 
they made statements superficially so clear and simple, and essen- 
tially so bewilderingly involved, that the longest experience could 
do little more for a constable than teach him the futility of wast- 
ing his time in attempts to disentangle them. 

Thus it was that when Mrs. Kilfoyle saw who Ody's compan- 
ions were, she bade a regretful adieu to her hopes of recovering 
her stolen property. For how could she set him on the Tinker's 
felonious track without apprising them likewise ? You might as 
well try to huroosh one chicken off a rafter and not scare the 
couple that were huddled beside it. The impossibility became 
more obvious presently as the constables, striding quickly down 
to where the group of women stood in the rain and wind with 
fluttering shawls and flapping cap-borders, said briskly, " Good-day 
to you all. Did any of yous happen to see e'er a one of them 
tinkerin' people goin' by here this momin' ? *' 

It was a moment of strong temptation to everybody, but espe- 
cially to Mrs. Kilfoyle, who had in her mind that vivid picture 
of her precious cloak receding from her along the wet road, 
recklessly wisped up in the grasp of as thankless a thievin' black- 
hearted slieveen as ever stepped, and not yet, perhaps, utterly 
out of reach, though every fleeting instant carried it nearer to 
that hopeless point. However, she and her neighbors stood the 
test unshaken. Mrs. Ryan rolled her eyes deliberatively, and 
said to Mrs. M'Gurk, **The saints bless us, was it yisterday or 
the day before, me dear, you said you seen a couple of them 
below, near ould O'Beime's?** 

And Mrs. M'Gurk replied, "Ah, sure, not at all, ma'am, glory 
be to goodness. I couldn't ha' tould you such a thing, for I 
wasn't next or nigh the place. Would it ha' been Ody Rafferty's 
aunt ? She was below there fetchin' up a bag of male, and bedad 
she came home that dhreeped, the crathur, you might ha' thought 
she'd been after fishin' it up out of the botthom of one of thim 
bog-houles. " 

And Mrs. Kilfoyle heroically hustled her Thady into the house, 
as she saw him on the brink of beginning loudly to relate his 
encounter with a strange man, and desired him to whisht and 
stay where he was in a manner so sternly repressive that he 
actually remained there as if he had been a pebble dropped into 
a pool, and not, as usual, a cork to bob up again immediately. 



1552 JANE BARLOW 

Then Mrs. M'Giirk made a bold stroke, designed to shake off 
the hampering presence of the professionals, and enable Ody's 
amateur services to be utilized while there was yet time. 

" I declare, " she said, " now that I think of it, I seen a feller 
crossin' the ridge along there a while ago, like as if he was 
comin' from Sallinbeg ways; and according to the apparence of 
him, I wouldn't won'er if he was a one of thim tinker crathures 
— carryin' a big clump of cans he was, at any rate — I noticed 
the shine of thim. And he couldn't ha' got any great way yet 
to spake of, siipposin' there was anybody lookin' to folly after 
him. '> 

But Constable Black crushed her hopes as he replied, "Ah, 
it's nobody comin' from Sallinbeg that we've anything to say to. 
There's after bein' a robbery last night, down below at Jerry 
Dunne's — a shawl as good as new took, that his wife's ragin' over 
frantic, along wid a sight of fowl and other things. And the 
Tinkers that was settled this long while in the boreen at the 
back of his haggard is quit out of it afore daylight this momin', 
every rogue of them. So we'd have more than a notion where 
the property's went to if we could tell the road they've took. 
We thought like enough some of them might ha' come this way.'* 

Now, Mr. Jerry Dunne was not a popular person in Lis- 
connel, where he has even become, as we have seen, proverbial 
for what we call "ould naygurliness. " So there was a general 
tendency to say, "The divil's cure to him," and listen compla- 
cently to any details their visitors could impart. For in his 
private capacity a policeman, provided that he be otherwise "a 
dacint lad,'* which to do him justice is commonly the case, may 
join, with a few unobtrusive restrictions, in our neighborly gos- 
sips ; the rule in fact being — Free admission except on business. 

Only Mrs. Kilfoyle was so much cast down by her misfortune 
that she could not raise herself to the level of an interest in the 
affairs of her thrifty suitor, and the babble of voices relating and 
commenting sounded as meaningless as the patter of the drops 
which jumped like little fishes in the large puddle at their feet. 
It had spread considerably before Constable Black said to his 
comrade : — 

"Well, Daly, we'd better be steppin' home wid ourselves as 
wise as wc come, as the man said when he'd axed his road of 
the ould black horse in the dark lane. There's no good goin' 
further, for the whole gang of them's scattered over the counthry 
agin now like a seedin' thistle in a high win'.** 



JANE BARLOW ^,53 

*Aye, bedad," said Constable Daly, **and be the same token, 
this win' ud skin a tanned elephant. It's on'y bogged and 
drenched we'd git. Look at what's comin' up over there. That 
rain's snow on the hills, everj' could drop of it; I scan Ben 
Bawn this momin' as white as the top of a musharoon, and it's 
thickenin' wid sleet here this minute, and so it is." 

The landscape did, indeed, frown upon further explorations. 
In quarters where the rain had abated it seemed as if the mists 
had curdled on the breath of the bitter air, and they lay floating 
in long white bars and reefs low on the track of their own 
shadow, which threw down upon the sombre bogland deeper 
stains of gloom. Here and there one caught on the crest of 
some gray-bowldered knoll, and was teazed into fleecy threads 
that trailed melting instead of tangling. But toward the north 
the horizon was all blank, with one vast, smooth slant of slate- 
color, like a pent-house roof, which had a sliding motion on- 
wards. 

Ody Raiferty pointed to it and said, " Troth, it's teemin' pow- 
erful this instiant up there in the mountains. 'Twill be much if 
you land home afore it's atop of you; for 'twould be the most I 
could do myself." 

And as the constables departed hastily, most people forgot the 
stolen cloak for a while to wonder whether their friends would 
escape being entirely drowned on the way back from the fair. 

Mrs. Kilfoyle, however, still stood in deep dejection at her 
door, and said, ** Och, but she was the great fool to go let the 
Kkes of him set fut widin' her house." 

To console her Mrs. O'Driscoll said, " Ah, sure, sorra a fool 
were you, woman dear; how would you know the villiny of him? 
And if you'd turned the man away widout givin' him e'er a bit, 
it's bad you'd be thinkin' of it all the day after." 

And to improve the occasion for her juniors, old Mrs. Keogh 
added, "Aye, and morebetoken you'd ha' been committin' a sin." 

But Mrs. Kilfoyle replied with much candor, " 'Deed, then, 
I'd a dale liefer be after committin' a sin, or a dozen sins, than 
to have me poor mother's good cloak thieved away on me, and 
walkin' wild about the world." 

As it happened, the fate of Mrs. Kilfoyle's cloak was very 

different from her forecast. But I do not think that a knowledge 

of it would have teen consolatory to her by any means. If she 

had heard of it, she would probably have said, " The cross of 

III — c)8 



1554 }ANE BARLOW 

Christ upon us. God be good to the misfort'nit crathur. ** For 
she was not at all of an implacable temper, and would, under 
the circumstances, have condoned even the injury that obliged 
her to appear at Mass with a flannel petticoat over her head 
until the end of her days. Yet she did hold the Tinkers in a 
perhaps somewhat too unqualified reprobation. For there are 
tinkers and tinkers. Some of them, indeed, are stout and sturdy 
thieves, — veritable birds of prey, — whose rapacity is continually 
questing for plunder. But some of them have merely the mag- 
pics' and jackdaws' thievish propensity for picking up what lies 
temptingly in their way. And some few are so honest that they 
pass by as harmlessly as a wedge of high-flying wild duck. And 
I have heard it said that to places like Lisconnel their pickings 
and stealings have at worst never been so serious a matter as 
those of another flock, finer of feather, but not less predacious 
in their habits, who roosted, for the most part, a long way off, 
and made their collections by deputy. 

Copyrighted 1895, by Dodd, Mead and Company. 



WALLED OUT 
From <Bogland Studies > 

An' wanst we were restin' a bit in the sun on the smooth hillside, 
Where the grass felt warm to your hand as the fleece of a 
sheep, for wide, 
As ye'd look overhead an' around, 'twas all a-blaze and a-glow, 
An' the blue was blinkin' up from the blackest bog-holes below; 

An' the scent o' the bogmint was sthrong on the air, an" never a 

sound 
But the plover's pipe that ye'll seldom miss by a lone bit o' ground. 
An" he laned — Misther Pierce — on his elbow, an' stared at the sky 

as he smoked. 
Till just in an idle way he sthretched out his hand an' sthroked 
The feathers o' wan of the snipe that was kilt an' lay close by on 

the grass; 
An' there was the death in the crathur's eyes like a breath upon 

glass. 

An' sez he, " It's quare to think that a hole ye might bore wid a pin 
'111 be wide enough to let such a power o' darkness in 



JANE BARLOW jcee 

On such a power o' light; an' it's quarer to think," sez he, 

" That wan o' these days the like is bound to happen to you an' 

me." 
Thin Misther Barry, he sez : " Musha, how's wan to know but there's 

light 
On t'other side o' the dark, as the day comes afther the night?" 
An' "Och," says Misther Pierce, "what more's our knowin' — save the 

mark — 
Than guessin' which way the chances run, an' thinks I they run to 

the dark; 
Or else agin now some glint of a bame'd ha' come slithered an' slid; 
Sure light's not aisy to hide, an' what for should it be hid ? " 
Up he stood with a sort o' laugh: "If on light," sez he, "ye're set, 
Let's make the most o' this same, as it's all that we're like to get." 

Thim were his words, as I minded well, for often afore an' sin. 
The 'dintical thought 'ud bother me head that seemed to bother him 

thin: 
An' many's the time I'd be wond'rin' whatever it all might mane. 
The sky, an' the Ian', an' the bastes, an' the rest o' thim plain as 

plain. 
And all behind an' beyant thim a big black shadow let fall; 
Ye'U sthrain the sight out of your eyes, but there it stands like a 

wall. 

"An' there," sez I to meself, "we're goin' wherever we go. 

But where we'll be whin we git there it's never a know I know." 

Thin whiles I thought I was maybe a sthookawn to throuble me 

mind 
Wid sthrivin' to comprehind onnathural things o' the kind; 
An' Quality, now, that have larnin', might know the rights o' the 

case. 
But ignorant wans like me had betther lave it in pace. 

Priest, tubbe sure, an' Parson, accordin' to what they say, 
The whole matther's plain as a pikestaff an' clear as the day, 
An' to hear thim talk of a world beyant, ye'd think at the laste 
They'd been dead an' buried half their lives, an' had thramped it 

from west to aist; 
An' who's for above an' who's for below they've as pat as if they 

could tell 
The name of every saint in heaven an' every divil in hell. 
But cock up the lives of thimselves to be settlin' it all to their 

taste — 
I sez, and the wife she sez I'm no more nor a haythin baste — 



IC56 JANE BARLOW 

For mighty few o' thim's rael Quality, musha, they're mostly a pack 
O' playbians, each wid a tag to his name an' a long black coat to 

his back; 
An' it's on'y romancin' -they are belike; a man must stick be his 

trade, 
An' they git their livin' by lettin' on they know how wan's sowl is 

made. 

And in chapel or church they're bound to know somethin' for sure, 

good or bad, 
Or where'd be the sinse o' their preachin' an' prayers an' hymns an' 

howlin' like mad ? 
So who'd go mindin' o' thim ? barrin' women, in coorse, an' wanes. 
That believe 'most aught ye tell thim, if they don't understand what 

it manes — 
Bedad, if it worn't the nathur o' women to want the wit. 
Parson and Priest I'm a-thinkin' might shut up their shop an' quit. 

But, och, it's lost an' disthracted the crathurs 'ud be without 
Their bit of divarsion on Sundays whin all o' thim gits about, 
Cluth'rin' an' pluth'rin' together like hins, an' a-roostin' in rows. 
An' meetin' their frins an' their neighbors, and wearin' their dacint 

clothes. 
An' sure it's quare that the clergy can't ever agree to keep 
Be tellin' the same thrue story, sin' they know such a won'erful 

heap ; 

For many a thing Priest tells ye that Parson sez is a lie. 

An' which has a right to be wrong, the divil a much know I, 

For all the differ I see "twixt the pair o' thim 'd fit in a nut: 

Wan for the Union, an' wan for the League, an' both o' thim bitther 

as sut. 
But Misther Pierce, that's a gintleman born, an' has college larnin' 

and all. 
There he was starin' no wiser than me where the shadow stands like 

a wall. 

Authorized American Edition, Dodd, Mead and Company. 



1557 




JOEL BARLOW 

(1754-1812) 

?NE morning late in the July of 1778, a select company gath- 
ered in the little chapel of Yale College to listen to orations 
and other exercises by a picked number of students of the 
Senior class, one of whom, named Barlow, had been given the coveted 
honor of delivering what was termed the < Commencement Poem.* 
Those of the audience who came from a distance carried back to 
their homes in elm-shaded Norwich, or Stratford, or Litchfield, high 
on its hills, lively recollections of a hand- 
some young man and of his < Prospect of 
Peace,* whose cheerful prophecies in heroic 
verse so greatly "improved the occasion." 
They had heard that he was a farmer's son 
from Redding, Connecticut, who had been 
to school at Hanover, New Hampshire, and 
had entered Dartmouth College, but soon 
removed to Yale on account of its superior 
advantages; that he had twice seen active 
service in the Continental army, and that 
he was engaged to marry a beautiful New 
Haven girl. 

The brilliant career predicted for Bar- 
low did not begin immediately. Distaste for 
war, hope of securing a tutorship in college, and — we may well 
believe — Miss Ruth's entreaties, kept him in New Haven two years 
longer, engaged in teaching and in various courses of study. <The 
Prospect of Peace' had been issued in pamphlet form, and the com- 
pliments paid the author incited him to plan a poem of a philosophic 
character on the subject of America at large, bearing the title * The 
Vision of Columbus.* The appointment as tutor never came, and 
instead of cultivating the Muse in peaceful New Haven, he was 
forced to evoke her aid in a tent on the banks of the Hudson, 
whither after a hurried course in theology, he proceeded as an army 
chaplain in 1780. During his connection with the army, which 
lasted until its disbandment in 1783, he won repute by lyrics written 
to encourage the soldiers, and by "a flaming political sermon,'* as he 
termed it, on the treason of Arnold. 

- Army life ended. Barlow removed to Hartford, where he studied 
law, edited the American Mercury, — a weekly paper he had helped 




Joel Barlow 



1558 JOEL BARLOW 

to found, ■ — and with John Trumbull, Lemuel Hopkins, and David 
Humphreys formed a literary club which became widely known as 
the "Hartford Wits." Its chief publication, a series of political lam- 
poons styled <The Anarchiad,* satirized those factions whose disputes 
imperiled the young republic, and did much to influence public opin- 
ion in Connecticut and elsewhere in favor of the Federal Constitution. 
A revision and enlargement of Dr. Watts's 'Book of Psalmody,* and 
the publication (1787) of his own * Vision of Columbus,' occupied 
part of Barlow's time while in Hartford. The latter poem was 
extravagantly praised, ran through several editions, and was repub- 
lished in London and Paris; but the poet, who now had a wife to 
support, could not live by his pen nor by the law, and when in 1788 
he was urged by the Scioto Land Company to become its agent in 
Paris, he gladly accepted. The company was a private association, 
formed to buy large tracts of government land situated in Ohio and 
sell them in Europe to capitalists or actual settlers. This failed dis- 
astrously, and Barlow was left stranded in Paris, where he remained, 
supporting himself partly by writing, partly by business ventures. 
Becoming intimate with the leaders of the Girondist party, the man 
who had dedicated his * Vision of Columbus* to Louis XVL, and 
had also dined with the nobility, now began to figure as a zealous 
Republican and as a Liberal in religion. From 1790 to 1793 he 
passed most of his time in London, where he wrote a number of 
political pamphlets for the Society for Constitutional Information, an 
organization openly favoring French Republicanism and a revision of 
the British Constitution. Here also, in 1791, he finished a work 
entitled 'Advice to the Privileged Orders,* which probably would 
have run through many editions had it not been suppressed by the 
British government. The book was an arraigfnment of tyranny in 
church and state, and was quickly followed by < The Conspiracy of 
Kings,' an attack in verse on those European countries which had 
combined to kill Republicanism in France. In 1792 Barlow was 
made a citizen of France as a mark of appreciation of a * Letter * 
addressed to the National Convention, giving that body advice, and 
when the convention sent commissioners to organize the province of 
Savoy into a department. Barlow was one of the number. As a 
candidate for deputy from Savoy, he was defeated; but his visit was 
not fruitless, for at Chambery the sight of a dish of maize-meal por- 
ridge reminded him of his early home in Connecticut, and inspired 
him to write in that ancient French town a typical Yankee poem, 
* Hasty Pudding.* Its preface, in prose, addressed to Mrs. Washing- 
ton, assured her that simplicity of diet was one of the virtues; and 
if cherished by her, as it doubtless was, it would be more highly 
regarded by her countrywomen. 



JOEL BARLOW Ijjg 

Between the years of 1795-97, Barlow held the important but 
unenviable position of United States Consul at Algiers, and succeeded 
both in liberating many of his countrymen who were held as prison- 
ers, and in perfecting treaties with the rulers of the Barbary States, 
which gave United States vessels entrance to their ports and secured 
them from piratical attacks. On his return to Paris he translated 
Volney's * Ruins ' into English, made preparations for writing his- 
tories of the American and French revolutions, and expanded his 
'Vision of Columbus* into a volume which as < The Columbiad* — a 
beautiful specimen of typography — was published in Philadelphia in 
1807 and republished in London. The poem was held to have in- 
creased Barlow's fame ; but it is stilted and monotonous, and * Hasty 
Pudding* has done more to perpetuate his name. 

In 1805 Barlow returned to the United States and bought an 
estate near Washington, D. C, where he entertained distinguished 
visitors. In 181 1 he returned to France authorized to negotiate a 
treaty of commerce. After waiting nine months, he was invited by 
Napoleon, who was then in Poland, to a conference at Wilna. On 
his arrival Barlow found the French army on the retreat from Mos- 
cow, and endured such privations on the march that on December 
24th he died of exhaustion at the village of Zarnowiec, near Cracow, 
and there was buried. 

Barlow's part in developing American literature was important, 
and therefore he has a rightful place in a work which traces that 
development. He certainly was a man of varied ability and power, 
who advanced more than one good cause and stimulated the move- 
ment toward higher thought. The only complete * Life and Letters 
of Joel Barlow,* by Charles Burr Todd, published in 1888, gives him 
unstinted praise as excelling in statesmanship, letters, and philosophy. 
With more assured justice, which all can echo, it praises his nobility 
of spirit as a man. No one can read the letter to his wife, written 
from Algiers when he thought himself in danger of death, without a 
warm feeling for so unselfish and affectionate a nature. 



A FEAST 
From < Hasty Pudding > 

There are various ways of preparing and eating Hasty Pudding, 
with molasses, butter, sugar, cream, and fried. Why so excellent a 
thing cannot be eaten alone ? Nothing is perfect alone ; even man, 
who boasts of so much perfection, is nothing without his fellow-sub- 
stance. In eating, beware of the lurking heat that lies deep in the 
mass; dip your spoon gently, take shallow dips and cool it by 



l^go JOEL BARLOW 

degrees. It is sometimes necessary to blow. This is indicated by 
certain signs which every experienced feeder knows. They should 
be taught to young beginners. I have known a child's tongue blis- 
tered for want of this attention, and then the school-dame would 
insist that the poor thing had told a lie. A mistake : the falsehood 
was in the faithless pudding. A prudent mother will cool it for her 
child with her own sweet breath. The husband, seeing this, pre- 
tends his own wants blowing, too, from the same lips. A sly deceit 
of love. She knows the cheat, but, feigning ignorance, lends her 
pouting lips and gives a gentle blast, which warms the husband's 
heart more than it cools his pudding. 

THE days grow short; but though the falling sun 
To the glad swain proclaims his day's work done, 
Night's pleasing shades his various tasks prolong, 
And yield new subjects to my various song. 
For now, the corn-house filled, the harvest home, 
The invited neighbors to the husking come; 
A frolic scene, where work and mirth and play 
Unite their charms to chase the hours away. 

Where the huge heap lies centred in the hall. 
The lamp suspended from the cheerful wall. 
Brown corn-fed nymphs, and strong hard-handed beaux. 
Alternate ranged, extend in circling rows. 
Assume their seats, the solid mass attack; 
The dry husks rustle, and the corn-cobs crack; 
The song, the laugh, alternate notes resound, 
And the sweet cider trips in silence round. 

The laws of husking every wight can tell; 
And sure, no laws he ever keeps so well : 
For each red ear a general kiss he gains. 
With each smut ear he smuts the luckless swains; 
But when to some sweet maid a prize is cast. 
Red as her lips, and taper as her waist. 
She walks the round, and culls one favored beau, 
Who leaps, the luscious tribute to bestow. 
Various the sport, as are the wits and brains 
Of well-pleased lasses and contending swains; 
Till the vast mound of corn is swept away. 
And he that gets the last ear wins the day. 

Meanwhile the housewife urges all her care. 
The well-earned feast to hasten and prepare. 
The sifted meal already waits her hand, 
The milk is strained, the bowls in order stand. 



JOEL BARLOW Ijgl 

The fire flames high ; and as a pool (that takes 
The headlong stream that o'er the mill-dam breaks) 
Foams, roars, and rages with incessant toils, 
So the vexed caldron rages, roars and boils. 

First with clean salt she seasons well the food. 
Then strews the flour, and thickens well the flood. 
Long o'er the simmering fire she lets it stand; 
To stir it well demands a stronger hand: 
The husband takes his turn, and round and round 
The ladle flies; at last the toil is crowned; 
When to the board the thronging buskers pour. 
And take their seats as at the corn before. 

I leave them to their feast. There still belong 
More useful matters to my faithful song. 
For rules there are, though ne'er unfolded yet, 
Nice rules and wise, how pudding should be ate. 

Some with molasses grace the luscious treat. 
And mix, like bards, the useful and the sweet; 
A wholesome dish, and well deserving praise, 
A great resource in those bleak wintry days. 
When the chilled earth lies buried deep in snow, 
And raging Boreas dries the shivering cow. 

Blest cow! thy praise shall still my notes employ, 
Great source of health, the only source of joy ; 
Mother of Egypt's god, but sure, for me, 
Were I to leave my God, I'd worship thee. 
How oft thy teats these pious hands have pressed! 
How oft thy bounties prove my only feast! 
How oft I've fed thee with my favorite grain! 
And roared, like thee, to see thy children slain. 

Ye swains who know her various worth to prize. 
Ah! house her well from winter's angry skies. 
Potatoes, pumpkins, should her sadness cheer. 
Com from your crib, and mashes from your beer; 
When spring returns, she'll well acquit the loan, 
And nurse at once your infants and her own. 

Milk, then, with pudding I should always choose; 
To this in future I confine my muse. 
Till she in haste some further hints unfold, 
Good for the young, nor useless to the old. 
First in your bowl the milk abundant take. 
Then drop with care along the silver lake 
Your flakes of pudding: these at first will hide 
Their little bulk beneath the swelling tide; 



1562 JOEL BARLOW 

But when their growing mass no more can sink, 
"When the soft island looms above the brink, 
Then check your hand;' you've got the portion due. 
So taught my sire, and what he taught is true. 

There is a choice in spoons. Though small appear 
The nice distinction, yet to me 'tis clear. 
The deep-bowled Gallic spoon, contrived to scoop 
In ample draughts the thin diluted soup. 
Performs not well in those substantial things. 
Whose mass adhesive to the metal clings; 
Where the strong labial muscles must embrace 
The gentle curve, and sweep the hollow space. 
With ease to enter and discharge the freight, 
A bowl less concave, but still more dilate, 
Becomes the pudding best. The shape, the size, 
A secret rests, unknown to vulgar eyes. 
Experienced feeders can alone impart 
A rule so much above the lore of art. 
These tuneful lips that thousand spoons have tried, 
With just precision could the point decide. 
Though not in song — the muse but poorly shines 
In cones, and cubes, and geometric lines; 
Yet the true form, as near as she can tell. 
Is that small section of a goose-egg shell, 
Which in two equal portions shall divide 
The distance from the centre to the side. 

Fear not to slaver; 'tis no deadly sin; — 
Like the free Frenchman, from your joyous chin 
Suspend the ready napkin; or like me. 
Poise with one hand your bowl upon your knee; 
Just in the zenith your wise head project, 
Your full spoon rising in a line direct. 
Bold as a bucket, heed no drops that fall. 
The wide-mouthed bowl will surely catch them all! 




1563 



WILLIAM BARNES 

(1 800-1 886) 

!ad he chosen to write solely in familiar English, rather than 
in the dialect of his native Dorsetshire, every modern an- 
thology would be graced by the verses of William Barnes, 
and to multitudes who now know him not, his name would have 
become associated with many a country sight and sound. Other 
poets have taken homely subjects for their themes, — the hayfield, 
the chimne^'-nook, milking-time, the blossoming of " high-boughed 
hedges " ; but it is not every one who has sung out of the fullness of 
his heart and with a naive delight in that of which he sung: and so 
by reason of their faithfulness to every-day life and to nature, and 
by their spontaneity and tenderness, his lyrics, fables, and eclogues 
appeal to cultivated readers as well as to the rustics whose quaint 
speech he made his own. 

Short and simple are the annals of his life ; for, a brief period 
excepted, it was passed in his native county — though Dorset, for 
all his purposes, was as wide as the world itself. His birthplace was 
Bagbere in the vale of Blackmore, far up the valley of the Stour, 
where his ancestors had been freeholders. The death of his parents 
while he was a boy threw him on his own resources; and while he 
was at school at Sturminster and Dorchester he supported himself by 
clerical work in attorneys' offices. After he left school his education 
was mainly self-gained; but it was so thorough that in 1827 he 
became master of a school at Mere, Wilts, and in 1835 opened a 
boarding-school in Dorchester, which he conducted for a number of 
years. A little later he spent a few terms at Cambridge, and in 
1847 received ordination. From that time until his death in 1886, 
most of his days were spent in the little parishes of Whitcombe and 
Winterbourne Came, near Dorchester, where his duties as rector left 
him plenty of time to spend on his favorite studies. To the last, 
Barnes wore the picturesque dress of the eighteenth century, and to 
the tourist he became almost as much a curiosity as the relics of 
Roman occupation described in a guide-book he compiled. 

When one is at the same time a linguist, a musician, an antiquary, 
a profound student of philology, and skilled withal in the graphic 
arts, it would seem inevitable that he should have more than a local 
reputation; but when, in 1844, a thin volume entitled * Poems of 
Rural Life in the Dorset Dialect* appeared in London, few bookshop 



1564 



WILLIAM BARNES 



frequenters had ever heard of the author. But he was already 
well known throughout Dorset, and there he was content to be 
known; a welcome guest in castle and hall, but never happier 
than when, gathering about him the Jobs and Lettys with whom 
Thomas Hardy has made us familiar, he delighted their ears by recit- 
ing his verses. The dialect of Dorset, he boasted, was the least 
corrupted form of English; therefore to commend it as a vehicle of 
expression and to help preserve his mother tongue from corruption, 
and to purge it of words not of Anglo-Saxon or Teutonic origin, — 
this was one of the dreams of his life, — he put his impressions of 
rural scenery and his knowledge of human character into metrical 
form. He is remembered by scholars here and there for a number 
of works on philology, and one (* Outline of English Speech-Craft *) 
in which, with zeal, but with the battle against him, he aimed to 
teach the English language by using words of Teutonic derivation 
only; but it is through his four volumes of poems that he is better 
remembered. These include * Hwomely Rhymes* (1859), *Poems of 
Rural Life* (1862), and * Poems of Rural Life in Common English* 
(1863). The three collections of dialect poems were brought out in 
one volume, with a glossary, in 1879. 

**A poet fresh as the dew,'* <*The first of English purely pastoral 
poets,** **The best writer of eclogues since Theocritus,** — these are 
some of the tardy tributes paid him. With a sympathy for his fel' 
low-man and a humor akin to that of Burns, with a feeling for nature 
as keen as Wordsworth's, though less subjective, and with a power 
of depicting a scene with a few well-chosen epithets which recalls 
Tennyson, Barnes has fairly earned his title to remembrance. 

*The Life of William Barnes, Poet and Philologist,* written by 
his daughter, Mrs. Baxter, was published in 1887. There are numer- 
ous articles relating to him in periodical literature, one of which, a 
sketch by Thomas Hardy, in Vol. 86 of the *Athenasum,* is of peculiar 
interest. 



WILLIAM BARNES 

BLACKMWORE MAIDENS 

THE primrwose in the sheade do blow, 
The cowslip in the zun, 
The thyme upon the down do g^ow, 
The clote where streams do run; 
An' where do pretty maidens grow 
An' blow, but where the tow'f 
Do rise among the bricken tuns. 
In Blackmwore by the Stour? 

If you could zee their comely gait, 

An' pretty feaces' smiles, 
A-trippen on so light o' waight, 

An' steppen off the stiles; 
A-gwain to church, as bells do swing 

An' ring 'ithin the tow'r, 
You'd own the pretty maidens' pleace 

Is Blackmwore by the Stour? 

If you vrom Wimborne took your road. 

To Stower or Paladore, 
An' all the farmers' housen show'd 

Their daughters at the door; 
You'd cry to bachelors at hwome — 

" Here, come : 'ithin an hour 
You'll vind ten maidens to your mind. 

In Blackmwore by the Stour." 

An' if you look'd 'ithin their door, 

To zee em in their pleace, 
A-doen housework up avore 

Their smilen mother's feace; 
You'd cry, — "Why, if a man would wive 

An' thrive, 'ithout a dow'r, 
Then let en look en out a wife 

In Blackmwore by the Stour.* 

As I upon my road did pass 

A school-house back in May, 
There out upon the beaten grass 

Wer maidens at their play; 
An' as the pretty souls did tweil 

An' smile, I cried, " The flow'r 
O' beauty, then, is still in bud 

In Blackmwore by the Stour.* 



'565 



1566 



WILLIAM BARNES 



MAY 



Come out o' door, 'tis Spring! 'tis May! 
The trees be green, the vields be gay; 
The weather's warm, the winter blast, 
Wi' all his train o' clouds, is past; 
The zun do rise while vo'k do sleep, 
To teake a higher daily zweep, 
Wi' cloudless feace a-flingen down 
His sparklen light upon the groun'. 
The air's a-streamen soft, — come drow 
The windor open; let it blow 
In drough the house, where vire, an' door 
A-shut, kept out the cwold avore. 
Come, let the vew dull embers die, 
An' come below the open sky; 
An' wear your best, vor fear the groun' 
In colors gay mid sheame your gown : 
An' goo an' rig wi' me a mile 
Or two up over geate an' stile, 
Drough zunny parrocks that do lead, 
Wi' crooked hedges, to the mead. 
Where elems high, in steiitely ranks. 
Do rise vrom yollow cowslip-banks. 
An' birds do twitter vrom the spray 
O' bushes deck'd wi' snow-white may; 
An' gil' cups, wi' the deaisy bed. 
Be under ev'ry step you tread. 
We'll wind up roun' the hill, an' look 
All down the thickly timber'd nook, 
Out where the squier's house do show 
His gray-walled peaks up drough the row 
O' shciidy elems, where the rock 
Do build her nest ; an' where the brook 
Do creep along the meads, an' lie 
To catch the brightness o' the sky; 
An' cows, in water to their knees. 
Do Stan' a-whisken off the vlees. 
Mother o' blossoms, and ov all 
That's feair a-vield vrom Spring till Fall, 
The gookoo over white-weav'd seas 
Do come to zing in thy green trees. 
An' buttervlees, in giddy flight, 
Do gleam the mwost by thy gay light. 



WILLIAM BARNES 1567 

Oh! when, at last, my fleshly eyes 
Shall shut upon the yields an' skies, 
Mid zummer's zunny days be gone. 
An' winter's clouds be comen on : 
Nor mid I draw upon the e'th, 
O' thy sweet air my leatest breath; 
Alassen I mid want to stay 
Behine' for thee, O flow'ry May! 



MILKEN TIME 
< Poems of Rural Life > 

TWER when the busy birds did vlee, 
Wi' sheenen wings, vrom tree to tree, 
To build upon the mossy lim' 
Their hollow nestes' rounded rim; 
The while the zun, a-zinken low. 
Did roll along his evenen bow, 
I come along where wide-horn'd cows, 
'Ithin a nook, a-screen'd by boughs, 
Did Stan' an' flip the white-hooped pails 
Wi' heairy tufts o' swingen tails; 
An' there were Jenny Coom a-gone 
Along the path a vew steps on, 
A-bearen on her head, upstraight, 
Her pail, wi' slowly-riden waight. 
An hoops a-sheenen, lily-white, 
Agean the evenen's slanten light; 
An' zo I took her pail, an' left 
Her neck a-freed vrom all his heft; 
An' she a-looken up an' down, 
Wi' sheaply head an' glossy crown, 
Then took my zide, an' kept my peace, 
A-talken on wi' smilen feace, 
An' zetten things in sich a light, 
I'd fain ha' hear'd her talk all night; 
An' when I brought her milk avore 
The geate, she took it in to door. 
An' if her pail had but allow'd 
Her head to vail, she would ha' bow'd; 
An' still, as 'twer, I had the zight 
Ov' her sweet smile, droughout the night. 



1568 



WILLIAM BARNES 



JESSIE LEE 

ABOVE the timber's benden sh'ouds, 
The western wind did softly blow; 
An' up avore the knap, the clouds 
Did ride as white as driven snow. 
Vrom west to east the clouds did zwim 
Wi' wind that plied the elem's lim'; 
Vrom west to east the stream did glide, 
A sheenen wide, wi' winden brim. 

How feair, I thought, avore the sky 

The slowly-zwimmen clouds do look; 
How soft the win's a-streamen by; 

How bright do roll the weavy brook: 
When there, a-passen on my right, 
A-walken slow, an' treaden light, 
Young Jessie Lee come by, an' there 
Took all my ceare, an' all my zight. 

Vor lovely wer the looks her feace 
Held up avore the western sky: 

An' comely wer the steps her peace 
Did meake a-walken slowly by: 

But I went east, wi' beaten breast, 

Wi' wind, an' cloud, an' brook, vor rest, 
Wi' rest a-lost, vor Jessie gone 

So lovely on, toward the west. 

Blow on, O winds, athirt the hill; 

Zwim on, O clouds; O waters vail, 
Down maeshy rocks, vrom mill to mill • 

I now can overlook ye all. 

But roll, O zun, an' bring to me 

My day, if such a day there be, 

When zome dear path to my abode 

Shall be the road o' Jessie Lee. 



WILLIAM BARNES ijgg 



THE TURNSTILE 

AH ! SAD wer we as we did peace 
The wold church road, wi' downcast feace, 
The while the bells, that mwoan'd so deep 
Above our child a-left asleep, 
Wer now a-zingen all alive 
Wi' tother bells to meake the vive. 
But up at woone pleace we come by, 
'Twere hard to keep woone's two eyes dry; 
On Stean-cliff road, 'ithin the drong. 
Up where, as vo'k do pass along, 
The turnen stile, a-painted white. 
Do sheen by day an' show by night. 
Vor always there, as we did goo 
To church, thik stile did let us drough, 
Wi' spreaden earms that wheel'd to guide 
Us each in turn to tother zide. 
An' vu'st ov all the train he took 
My wife, wi' winsome gait an' look; 
An' then zent on my little maid, 
A-skippen onward, overjay'd 
To reach agean the pleace o' pride, 
Her comely mother's left han' zide. 
An' then, a-wheelen roun' he took 
On me, 'ithin his third white nook. 
An' in the fourth, a-sheaken wild. 
He zent us on our giddy child. 
But eesterday he guided slow 
My downcast Jenny, vull o' woe. 
An' then my little maid in black, 
A-walken softly on her track; 
An' after he'd a-turn'd agean. 
To let me goo along the leane, 
He had noo little bwoy to vill 
His last white earms, an' they stood still. 



Ill — 99 



157© 



WILLIAM BARNES 



TO THE WATER-CROWFOOT 

Osmall-feac'd flow'r that now dost bloom, 
To stud wi' white the shallow Frome, 
An' leave the *clote to spread his flow'r 
On darksome pools o' stwoneless Stour, 
When sof ly-rizen airs do cool 
The water in the sheenen pool. 
Thy beds o' snow white buds do gleam 
So feair upon the sky-blue stream. 
As whitest clouds, a-hangen high 
Avore the blueness of the sky. 



^The yellow water-lily. 



ZUMMER AN' WINTER 

WHEN I led by zummer streams 
The pride o' Lea, as naighbours thought her, 
While the zun, wi' evenen beams, 
Did cast our sheades athirt the water: 
Winds a-blowen. 
Streams a-flowen. 
Skies a-glowen. 
Tokens ov my jay zoo fleeten. 
Heightened it, that happy meeten. 

Then, when maid and man took pleaces, 

Gay in winter's Chris'mas dances, 
Showen in their merry feaces 

Kindly smiles an' glisnen glances: 
Stars a-winken. 
Days a-shrinken, 
Sheades a-zinken. 
Brought anew the happy meeten. 
That did meake the night too fleeten. 



IS7I 




JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 
(i860-) 

James Matthew Barrie was born May 9th, i860, at Kirriemuir, 
Scotland (* Thrums *) ; son of a physician whom he has lov- 
ingly embodied as * Dr. McQueen,' and with a mother and 
sister who will live as < Jess * and * Leeby. * After an academy course 
at Dumfries he entered the University of Edinburgh at eighteen, 
where he graduated M. A., and took honors in the English Literature 
class. A few months later he took a place on a newspaper in Not- 
tingham, England, and in the spring of 1885 went to London, where 
the papers had begun to accept his work. 
Above all, the St. James's Gazette had pub- 
lished the first of the ''Auld Licht Idylls' 
November 17th, 1884; and the editor, Fred- 
erick Greenwood, instantly perceiving a new 
and rich genius, advised him to work the 
vein further, enforcing the advice by refus- 
ing to accept his contributions on other 
subjects. 

He had the usual painful struggle to 
become a successful journalist, detailed in 
* When a Man's Single ' ; but his real work 
was other and greater. In 1887 <When a 
Man's Single ' came out serially in the 
British Weekly; it has little merit except in the Scottish prelude, 
which is of high quality in style and pathos. It is curious how 
utterly his powers -desert him the moment he leaves his native 
heath : like Antaeus, he is a giant on his mother earth and a pigmy 
off it. His first published book was 'Better Dead' (1887); it works 
out a cynical idea which would be amusing in five pages, but is 
diluted into tediousness by being spread over fifty. But in 1889 came 
a second masterpiece, <A Window in Thrums,' a continuation of the 
Auld Licht series from an inside instead of an outside standpoint, — 
not superior to the first, but their full equals in a deliciousness of 
which one cannot say how much is matter and how much style. *My 
Lady Nicotine' appeared in 1890; it was very popular, and has some 
amusing sketches, but no enduring quality. < An Edinburgh Eleven ' 
(1890) is a set of sketches of his classmates and professors. 

In 1 89 1 the third of his Scotch works appeared, — < The Little Min- 
ister,' — which raised him from the rank of an admirable sketch 
writer to that of an admirable novelist, despite its fantastic plot and 




James M. Barrie 



1^72 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

detail. Since then he has written three plays, — * Walker, London,* 
*Jane Annie,* and < The Professor's Love Story,* the latter very suc- 
cessful and adding to his reputation; but no literature except his 
novel 'Sentimental Tommy,* just closed in Scribner's Magazine. 
This novel is not only a great advance on * The Little Minister * in 
symmetry of construction, reality of matter, tragic power, and in- 
sight, but its tone is very different. Though as rich in humor, the 
humor is largely of a grim, bitter, and sardonic sort. The light, 
gay, buoyant fun of * The Little Minister, * which makes it a per- 
petual enjoyment, has mostly vanished; in its stead we feel that the 
writer's sensitive nature is wrung by the swarming catastrophes he 
cannot avert, the endless wrecks on the ocean of life he cannot suc- 
cor, and hardly less by those spiritual tragedies and ironies so much 
worse, on a true scale of valuation, than any material misfortune. 

The full secret of Mr. Barrie's genius, as of all genius, eludes 
analysis; but some of its characteristics are not hard to define. His 
wonderful keenness of observation and tenacity of remembrance of 
the pettinesses of daily existence, which in its amazing minuteness 
reminds us of Dickens and Mark Twain, and his sensitiveness to the 
humorous aspects of their little misfits and hypocrisies and lack of 
proportion, might if untempered have made him a literary cynic like 
some others, remembered chiefly for the salience he gave to the 
ugly meannesses of life and the ironies of fate. But his good angel 
added to these a gift of quick, sure, and spontaneous sympathy and 
wide spiritual understanding. This fills all his higher work with a 
generous appreciativeness, a justness of judgment, a tenderness of 
feeling, which elevate as well as charm the reader. He makes us 
love the most grotesque characters, whom in life we should dislike 
and avoid, by the sympathetic fineness of his interpretation of their 
springs of life and their warping by circumstance. The impression 
left on one by the studies of the Thrums community is not primarily 
of intellectual and spiritual narrowness, or niggardly thrift, or dour 
natures: all are there, but with them are souls reaching after God 
and often flowering into beauty, and we reverence the quenchless 
aspiration of maligned human nature for an ideal far above its reach. 
He achieves the rare feat of portraying every pettiness and preju- 
dice, even the meannesses and dishonors of a poor and hidebound 
country village, yet leaving us with both sincere respect and warm 
liking for it; a thing possible only to one himself of a fine nature as 
well as of a large mind. Nor is there any mawkishness or cheap 
surface sentimentality in it all. His pathos never makes you wince : 
you can always read his works aloud, the deadly and unfailing test 
of anything flat or pinchbeck in literature. His gift of humor saves 
him from this : true humor and true pathos are always found together 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE JC73 

because they are not two but one, twin aspects of the very same 
events. He who sees the ludicrous in misfits must see their sadness 
too; he who can laugh at a tumble must grieve over it: both are 
inentable and both are coincident. 

As a literary artist, he belongs in the foremost rank. He has that 
sense of the typical in incident, of the universal in feeling, and of 
the suggestive in language, which mark the chiefs of letters. No one 
can express an idea with fewer strokes; he never expands a sufficient 
hint into an essay. His management of the Scotch dialect is mas- 
terly: he uses it sparingly, in the nearest form to English compatible 
with retaining the flavor; he never makes it so hard as to interfere 
with enjoyment; in few dialect writers do we feel so little alienness. 

<Auld Licht Idylls > is a set of regular descriptions of the life of 
"Thrums," with special reference to the ways and character of the 
<'01d Lights," the stubborn conservative Scotch Puritans; it contains 
also a most amusing and characteristic love story of the sect (given 
below), and a satiric political skit. <A Window in Thrums ' is 
mainly a series of selected incidents in detail, partly from the point 
of view of a crippled woman ("Jess"), sitting at her window and 
piecing out what she sees with great shrewdness from her knowledge 
of the general current of affairs, aided by her daughter "Leeby." 
<The Little Minister* is developed from the real story of a Scotch 
clergyman who brought home a wife from afar, of so alien a sort to 
the general run that the parish spent the rest of her short life in 
speculating on her previous history and weaving legends about her. 
Barrie's imagined explanation is of Arabian-Nights preposterousness 
of incident, and indeed is only a careless fairy-tale in substance ; but 
it is so rich in delicious filling, so full of his best humor, sentiment, 
character- drawing, and fine feeling, that one hardly cares whether it 
has any plot at all. < Sentimental Tommy > is a study of a sensitive 
mobile boy, a bom poseur, who passes his life in cloud-castles where 
he alwaj's dramatizes himself as the hero, who has no continuity of 
purpose, and no capacity of self-sacrifice except in spasms of impulse, 
and in emotional feeling which is real to itself; a spiritual Proteus 
who deceives even himself, and only now and then recognizes his 
own moral illusiveness, like Hawthorne's scarecrow-gentleman before 
the mirror: but with the irresistible instincts also of the born literary 
creator and constructor. The other characters are drawn with great 
power and truth. 

The judgment of contemporaries is rarely conclusive ; and we will 
not attempt to anticipate that of posterity. It may be said, how- 
ever, that the best applicable touchstone of permanency is that of 
seeming continuously fresh to cultivated tastes after many readings; 
and that Mr. Barrie's four best books bear the test without failure. 



^^74 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

THE COURTING OF T'NOWHEAD'S BELL 
From <Auld Licht Idylls > 

FOR two years it had been notorious in the square that Sam'l 
Dickie was thinking of courting T'nowhead's Bell, and that 
if little Sanders Elshioner (which is the Thrums pronunci- 
ation of Alexander Alexander) went in for her, he might prove a 
formidable rival. Sam'l was a weaver in the Tenements, and San- 
ders a coal-carter whose trade-mark was a bell on his horse's neck 
that told when coals were coming. Being something of a public 
man, Sanders had not, perhaps, so high a social position as Sam'l; 
but he had succeeded his father on the coal-cart, while the weaver 
had already tried, several trades. It had always been against 
Sam'l, too, that once when the kirk was vacant he had advised 
the selection of the third minister who preached for it, on the 
ground that it came expensive to pay a large number of candi- 
dates. The scandal of the thing was hushed up, out of respect 
for his father, who was a God-fearing man, but Sam'l was known 
by it in Lang Tammas's circle. The coal-carter was called Little 
Sanders, to distinguish him from his father, who was not much 
more than half his size. He had grown up with the name, and 
its inapplicability now came home to nobody. Sam'l's mother had 
been more far-seeing than Sanders's. Her man had been called 
Sammy all his life, because it was the name he got as a boy, so 
when their eldest son was born she spoke of him as Sam'l while 
still in his cradle. The neighbors imitated her, and thus the 
young man had a better start in life than had been granted to 
Sammy, his father. 

It was Saturday evening — the night in the week when Auld 
Licht young men fell in love. Sam'l Dickie, wearing a blue 
Glengarry bonnet with a red ball on the top, came to the door of 
a one-story house in the Tenements, and stood there wriggling, 
for he was in a suit of tweeds for the first time that week, and 
did not feel at one with them. When his feeling of being a 
stranger to himself wore off, he looked up and down the road, 
which straggles between houses and gardens, and then, picking 
his way over the puddles, crossed to his father's hen-house and 
sat down on it. He was now on his way to the square. 

Eppie Fargus was sitting on an adjoining dike, knitting stock- 
ings, and Sam'l looked at her for a time. 

" Is't yersel, Eppie ? " he said at last. 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE I^^j 

"It's a' that," said Eppie. 

*' Hoo's a' wi' ye?" asked Sam'l. 

"We're juist aff an' on," replied Eppie, cautiously. 

There was not much more to say, but as Sam'l sidled off the 
hen-house, he murmured politely, "Ay, ay." In. another minute 
he would have been fairly started, but Eppie resumed the con- 
versation. 

"Sam'l," she said, with a twinkle in her eye, "ye can tell Lis- 
beth Fargus I'll likely be drappin' in on her aboot Munday or 
Teisday. " 

Lisbeth was sister to Eppie, and wife of Thomas McQuhatty, 
better known as T'nowhead, which was the name of his farm. 
She was thus Bell's mistress. 

Sam'l leaned against the hen-house, as if all his desire to 
depart had gone. 

" Hoo d'ye kin I'll be ai the T'nowhead the nicht ? " he asked, 
grinning in anticipation. 

"Ou, I'se warrant ye'll be after Bell," said Eppie. 

"Am no sae sure o' that," said Sam'l, trying to leer. He was 
enjoying himself now. 

" Am no sure o' that, " he repeated, for Eppie seemed lost in 
•stitches. 

« Sam'l ? " 

«Ay.» 

"Ye'll be speirin' her sune noo, I dinna doot ? " 

This took Sam'l, who had only been courting Bell for a year 
or two, a little aback. 

" Hoo d'ye mean, Eppie ? " he asked. 

"Maybe ye'll do't the nicht." 

" Na, there's nae hurry," said Saml. 

"Weel, we're a' coontin' on't, Sam'l." 

" Gae wa wi' ye. " 

" What for no ? " 

"Gae wa wi' ye," said Sam'l again. 

"Bell's gei an' fond o' ye, Sam'l." 

«Ay,» said Sam'l. 

"But am dootin' ye 're a fell billy wi' the lasses." 

"Ay, oh, I d'na kin, moderate, moderate," said Sam'l, in high 
delight. 

""I saw ye," said Eppie, speaking with a wire in her mouth, 
"gaen on terr'ble wi' Mysy Haggart at the pump last Saturday." 



12^6 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE . 

"We was juist amoosin' oorsels, " said Sam'l. 

"It'll be nae amoosement to Mysy, ** said Eppie, "gin ye brak 
her heart. " 

"Losh, Eppie," said Sam'l, "I didna think o' that." 

"Ye maun kin weel, Sam'l, 'at there's mony a lass wid jump 
at ye.** 

" Ou, weel,'* said Sam'l, implying that a man must take these 
things as they come. 

"For ye 're a dainty chield to look at, Sam'l.** 

"Do ye think so, Eppie? Ay, ay; oh, I d'na kin am onything 
by the ordinar. " 

"Ye mayna be,** said Eppie, "but lasses doesna do to be ower 
partikler. ** 

Sam'l resented this, and prepared to depart again. 

" Ye '11 no tell Bell that ? ** he asked, anxiously. 

« Tell her what ? ** 

"Aboot me an' Mysy.** 

"We'll see hoo ye behave yersel, Sam'l.** 

" No 'at I care, Eppie ; ye can tell her gin ye like. I widna 
think twice o' tellin' her mysel. '* 

"The Lord forgie ye for leein', Sam'l,** said Eppie, as he dis- 
appeared down Tammy Tosh's close. Here he came upon Hen«- 
ders Webster. 

"Ye're late, Sam'l,'* said Renders. 

"What for?** 

"Ou, I was thinkin' ye wid be gaen the length o' T'nowhead 
the nicht, an' I saw Sanders Elshioner makkin's wy there an oor 
syne.** 

"Did ye?** cried Sam'l, adding craftily; "but its naething to 
me.** 

"Tod, lad,** said Renders; "gin ye dinna buckle to, Sanders'll 
be carryin' her oflf ! ** 

Sam'l flung back his head and passed on. 

"Sam'l!** cried Renders after him. 

"Ay,** said Sam'l, wheeling round. 

"Gie Bell a kiss frae me.** 

The full force of this joke struck neither all at once. Sam'l 
began to smile at it as he turned down the school-wynd, and it 
came upon Renders while he was in his garden feeding his ferret. 
Then he slapped his legs gleefully, and explained the conceit to 
Will'um Byars, who went into the house and thought it over. 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE , le-j-j 

There were twelve or twenty little groups of men in the square, 
which was lighted by a flare of oil suspended over a cadger's 
cart. Now and again a staid young woman passed through the 
square with a basket on her arm, and if she had lingered long 
enough to give them time, some of the idlers would have ad- 
dressed her. As it was, the}'' gazed after her, and then grinned 
to each other. 

**Ay, Sam'l," said two or three young men, as Sam'l joined 
them beneath the town clock. 

"Ay, Davit," replied Sam'l. 

This group was composed of some of the sharpest wits in 
Thrums, and it was not to be expected that they would let this 
opportunity pass. Perhaps when Sam'l joined them he knew what 
was in store for him. 

"Was ye lookin' for T'nowhead's Bell, Sam'l?" asked one. 

" Or mebbe ye was wantin' the minister ? " suggested another, 
the same who had walked out twice with Chirsty Duff and not 
married her after all. 

Sam'l could not think of a good reply at the moment, so he 
laughed good-naturedly. 

" Ondoobtedly she's a snod bit crittur, " said Davit, archly. 

"An' michty clever wi' her fingers," added Jamie Deuchars. 

"Man, I've thocht o' makkin' vip to Bell myself," said Pete 
Ogle. "Wid there be ony chance, think ye, Sam'l?" 

"I'm thinkin' she widna hae ye for her first, Pete," replied 
Sam'l, in one of those happy flashes that come to some men, 
"but there's nae sayin' but what she micht tak ye to finish up wi'. " 

The unexpectedness of this sally startled every one. Though 
Sam'l did not set up for a wit, however, like Davit, it was noto- 
rious that he could say a cutting thing once in a way. 

" Did ye ever see Bell reddin' up ? " asked Pete, recovering 
from his overthrow. He was a man who bore no malice. 

"It's a sicht, " said Sam'l, solemnly. 

" Hoo will that be ? " asked Jamie Deuchars. 

"It's weel worth yer while," said Pete, "to ging atower to 
the T'nowhead an' see. Ye'U mind the closed-in beds i' the 
kitchen ? Ay, weel, they're a fell spoilt crew, T'nowhead's litlins, 
an' no that aisy to manage. Th' ither lasses Lisbeth's ha'en had 
a michty trouble wi' them. When they war i' the middle o' 
their reddin up the bairns wid come tumlin' about the floor, but, 
sal, I assure ye, Bell didna fash lang wi' them. Did she, Sam'l ? " 



jcyg JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

"She did not," said Sam'l, dropping into a fine mode of speech 
to add emphasis to his remark. 

« I'll tell ye what she did, » said Pete to the others. « She 
juist lifted up the litlins, twa at a time, an' flung them into the 
coffin-beds. Syne she snibbit the doors on them, an' keepit them 
there till the floor was dry." 

" Ay, man, did she so ? " said Davit, admiringly. 

"I've seen her do't myself," said Sam'l. 

" There's no a lassie maks better bannocks this side o' Fetter 
Lums," continued Pete. 

"Her mither tocht her that," said Sam'l; "she was a gran' 
han' at the bakin', Kitty Ogilvy. " 

"I've heard say," remarked Jamie, putting it this way so as 
not to tie himself down to anything, " 'at Bell's scones is equal 
to Mag Lunan's. " 

"So they are," said Sam'l, almost fiercely. 

"I kin she's a neat han' at singein' a hen," said Pete. 

"An' wi't a'," said Davit, "she's a snod, canty bit stocky in 
her Sabbath claes. " 

"If onything, thick in the waist," suggested Jamie. 

"I dinna see that," said Sam'l. 

"I d'na care for her hair either," continued Jamie, who was 
very nice in his tastes ; " something mair yallowchy wid be an 
improvement. " 

"A'body kins," growled Sam'l, "'at black hair's the bonniest." 

The others chuckled. 

"Puir Sam'l!" Pete said. 

Sam'l, -not being certain whether this should be received with 
a smile or a frown, opened his mouth wide as a kind of compro- 
mise. This was position one with him for thinking things over. 

Few Auld Lichts, as I have said, went the length of choos- 
ing a helpmate for themselves. One day a young man's friends 
would see him mending the washing-tub of a maiden's mother. 
They kept the joke tmtil Saturday night, and then he learned 
from them what he had been after. It dazed him for a time, 
but in a year or so he grew accustomed to the idea, and they 
were then married. With a little help, he fell in love just like 
other people. 

Sam'l was going the way of the others, but he found it diffi- 
cult to come to the point. He only went courting once a week, 
and he could never take up the running at the place where he left 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE ' jjy^ 

off the Saturday before. Thus he had not, so far, made great 
headway. His method of making up to Bell had been to drop 
in at T'nowhead on Saturday nights and talk with the farmer 
about the rinderpest. 

The farm-kitchen was Bell's testimonial. Its chairs, tables, 
and stools were scoured by her to the whiteness of Rob Angus's 
saw-mill boards, and the muslin blind on the window was 
starched like a child's pinafore. Bell was brave, too, as well as 
energetic. Once Thrums had been overrun with thieves. It is 
now thought that there may have been only one; but he had the 
wicked cleverness of a gang. Such was his repute, that there 
were weavers who spoke of locking their doors when they went 
from home. He was not very skillful, however, being generally 
caught, and when they said they knew he was a robber he gave 
them their things back and went away. If they had given him 
time there is no doubt that he would have gone off with his 
plunder. One night he went to T'nowhead, and Bell, who slept 
in the kitchen, was awakened by the noise. She knew who it 
would be, so she rose and dressed herself, and went to look for 
him with a candle. The thief had not known what to do when 
he got in, and as it was very lonely he was glad to see Bell. 
She told him he ought to be ashamed of himself, and would 
not let him out by the door until he had taken off his boots, so 
as not to soil the carpet. 

On this Saturday evening Sam'l stood his ground in the 
square, until by and by he found himself alone. There were 
other groups there still, but his circle had melted away. They 
went separately, and no one said good-night. Each took him- 
self off slowly, backing out of the group until he was fairly 
started. 

Sam'l looked about him, and then, seeing that the others had 
gone, walked round the town-house into the darkness of the brae 
that leads down and then up to the farm of T'nowhead. 

To get into the good graces of Lisbeth Fargus you had to 
know her ways and humor them. Sam'l, who was a student of 
women, knew this, and so, instead of pushing the door open and 
walking in, he went through the rather ridiculous ceremony of 
knocking. Sanders Elshioner was also aware of this weakness of 
Lisbeth, but though he often made up his mind to knock, the 
absurdity of the thing prevented his doing so when he reached 
the door. T'nowhead himself had never got used to his wife's 



I^So ■■ JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

refined notions, and when any one knocked he always started to 
his feet, thinking there must be something wrong. 

Lisbeth came to the door, her expansive figure blocking the 
way in. 

"Sam'l," she said. 

« Lisbeth, » said Sam'l. 

He shook hands with the farmer's wife, knowing that she 
liked it, but only said, "Ay, Bell," to his sweetheart, "Ay, T'now- 
head, * to McQuhatty, and " It's yersel, Sanders, '' to his rival. 

They were all sitting round the fire; T'nowhead with his feet 
on the ribs, wondering why he felt so warm, and Bell darned a 
stocking, while Lisbeth kept an eye on a goblet full of potatoes. 

"Sit in to the fire, Sam'l," said the farmer, not, however, 
making way for him. 

" Na, na," said Sam'l, "I'm to bide nae time." Then he sat 
in to the fire. His face was turned away from Bell, and when 
she spoke he answered her without looking round. Sam'l felt a 
little anxious. Sanders Elshioner, who had one leg shorter than 
the other, but looked well when sitting, seemed suspiciously at 
home. He asked Bell questions out of his own head, which was 
beyond Sam'l, and once he said something to her in such a low 
voice that the others could not catch it. T'nowhead asked curi- 
ously what it was, and Sanders explained that he had only said, 
"Ay, Bell, the morn's the Sabbath." There was nothing start- 
ling in this, but Sam'l did not like it. He began to wonder if 
he was too late, and had he seen his opportunity would have 
told Bell of a nasty rumor, that Sanders intended to go over to 
the Free Church if they would make him kirk-officer. 

Sam'l had the good-will of T'nowhead's wife, who liked a 
polite man. Sanders did his best, but from want of practice he 
constantly made mistakes. To-night, for instance, he wore his 
hat in the house, because he did not like to put up his hand and 
take it off. T'nowhead had not taken his off either, but that 
was because he meant to go out by and by and lock the byre 
door. It was impossible to say which of her lovers Bell pre- 
ferred. The proper course with an Auld Licht lassie was to 
prefer the man who proposed to her. 

" Ye '11 bide a wee, an' hae something to eat ? " Lisbeth asked 
Sam'l, with her eyes on the goblet. 

"No, I thank ye," said Sam'l, with true gentility. 

"Ye'll better?" 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 1581 

«I dinna think it.» 

"Hoots ay; what's to hender ye?" 

"Weel, since ye're sae pressin', I'll bide." 

No one asked Sanders to stay. Bell could not, for she was 
but the servant, and T'nowhead knew that the kick his wife had 
given him meant that he was not to do so either. Sanders 
whistled to show that he was not uncomfortable. 

"Ay, then, I'll be stappin' ower the brae," he said at last. 

He did not go, however. There was sufficient pride in him 
to get him off his chair, but only slowly, for he had to get 
accustomed to the notion of going. At intervals of two or three 
minutes he remarked that he must now be going. In the same 
circumstances Sam'l would have acted similarly. For a Thrums 
man it is one of the hardest things in life to get away from 
anywhere. 

At last Lisbeth saw that something must be done. The 
potatoes were burning, and T'nowhead had an invitation on his 
tongue. 

"Yes, I'll hae to be movin',» said Sanders, hopelessly, for the 
fifth time. 

"Guid-nicht to ye, then, Sanders," said Lisbeth. "Gie the 
door a fiing-to ahent ye." 

Sanders, with a mighty effort, pulled himself together. He 
looked boldly at Bell, and then took off his hat carefully. Sam'l 
saw with misgivings that there was something in it which was 
not a handkerchief. It was a paper bag glittering with gold 
braid, and contained such an assortment of sweets as lads bought 
for their lasses on the Muckle Friday. 

"Hae, Bell," said Sanders, handing the bag to Bell in an off- 
hand way, as if it were but a trifle. Nevertheless, he was a 
little excited, for he went off without saying good -night. 

No one spoke. Bell's face was crimson. T'nowhead fidgeted 
on his chair, and Lisbeth looked at Sam'l. The weaver was 
strangely calm and collected, though he would have liked to 
know whether this was a proposal. 

"Sit in by to the table, Sam'l," said Lisbeth, trying to look 
as if things were as they had been before. 

She put a saucerful of butter, salt, and pepper near the fire 
to melt, for melted butter is the shoeing-horn that helps over a 
meal of potatoes. Sam'l, however, saw what the hour required, 
and jumping up, he seized his bonnet. 



J ^82 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

** Hing the tatties higher up the joist, Lisbeth," he said with 
dignity; ** I'se be back in ten meenits.'* 

He hurried out of the house, leaving the others looking at 
each other. 

"What do ye think?" asked Lisbeth. 

«I d'na kin,» faltered Bell. 

"Thae tatties is lang o' comin' to the boil," said T'nowhead. 

In some circles a lover who behaved like Sam'l would have 
been suspected of intent upon his rival's life, but neither Bell 
nor Lisbeth did the weaver that injustice. In a case of this 
kind it does not much matter what T'nowhead thought. 

The ten minutes had barely passed when Sam'l was back in 
the farm-kitchen. He was too flurried to knock this time, and 
indeed Lisbeth did not expect it of him. 

" Bell, hae ! " he cried, handing his sweetheart a tinsel bag 
twice the size of Sanders* gift. 

« Losh preserve's!" exclaimed Lisbeth; " I'se warrant there's 
a shillin's worth." 

"There's a' that, Lisbeth — an' mair," said Sam'l, firmly. 

"I thank ye, Sam'l," said Bell, feeling an unwonted elation as 
she gazed at the two paper bags in her lap. 

"Ye're ower extravegint, Sam'l," Lisbeth said. 

"Not at all," said Sam'l; "not at all. But I wouldna advise 
ye to eat thae ither anes, Bell — they're second quahty." 

Bell drew back a step from Sam'l. 

" How do ye kin ? " asked the farmer, shortly ; for he liked 
Sanders. 

"I speired i' the shop," said Sam'l. 

The goblet was placed on a broken plate on the table, with 
the saucer beside it, and Sam'l, like the others, helped himself. 
What he did was to take potatoes from the pot with his fingers, 
peel off their coats, and then dip them into the butter. Lisbeth 
would have liked to provide knives and forks, but she knew that 
beyond a certain point T'nowhead was master in his own house. 
As for Sam'l, he felt victory in his hands, and began to think 
that he had gone too far. 

In the meantime, Sanders, little witting that Sam'l had trumped 
his trick, was sauntering along the kirk-wynd with his hat on the 
side of his head. Fortunately he did not meet the minister. 

The courting of T'nowhead 's Bell reached its crisis one 
Sabbath about a month after the events above recorded. The 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 1583 

minister was in great force that day, but it is no part of mine 
to tell how he bore himself. I was there, and am not likely to 
forget the scene. It was a fateful Sabbath for T'nowhead's Bell 
and her swains, and destined to be remembered for the painful 
scandal which they perpetrated in their passion. 

Bell was not in the kirk. There being an infant of six months 
in the house, it was a question of either Lisbeth or the lassie's 
staying at home with him, and though Lisbeth was unselfish in 
a general way, she could not resist the delight of going to 
church. She had nine children besides the baby, and being but 
a woman, it was the pride of her life to march them into the 
T'nowhead pew, so well watched that they dared not disbehave, 
and so tightly packed that they could not fall. The congregation 
looked at that pew, the mothers enviously, when they sung the 
lines : — 

"Jerusalem like a city is 
Compactly built together.** 

The first half of the service had been gone through on this 
particular Sunday without anything remarkable happening. It 
was at the end of the psalm which preceded the sermon that 
Sanders Elshioner, who sat near the door, lowered his head until 
it was no higher than the pews, and in that attitude, looking 
almost like a four-footed animal, slipped out of the church. In 
their eagerness to be at the sermon, many of the congregation 
did not notice him, and those who did, put the matter by in 
their minds for future investigation. Sam'l, however, could not 
take it so coolly. From his seat in the gallery he saw Sanders 
disappear and his mind misgave him. With the true lover's 
instinct, he understood it all. Sanders had been struck by the 
fine turn-out in the T'nowhead pew. Bell was alone at the farm. 
What an opportunity to work one's way up to a proposal. 
T'nowhead was so overrun with children that such a chance sel- 
dom occurred, except on a Sabbath. Sanders, doubtless, was off 
to propose, and he, Sam'l, was left behind. 

The suspense was terrible. Sam'l and Sanders had both 
known all along that Bell would take the first of the two who 
asked her. Even those who thought her proud admitted that she 
was modest. Bitterly the weaver repented having waited so long. 
Now it was too late. In ten minutes Sanders would be at 
T'nowhead; in an hour all would be over. Sam'l rose to his feet 



ic84 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

in a daze. His mother pulled him down by the coat-tail, and 
his father shook him, thinking he was walking in his sleep. He 
tottered past them, however, hurried up the aisle, which was so 
narrow that Dan'l Ross could only reach his seat by walking 
sideways, and was gone before the minister could do more than 
stop in the middle of a whirl and gape in horror after him. 

A number of the congregation felt that day the advantage of 
sitting in the laft. What was a mystery to those down-stairs was 
revealed to them. From the gallery windows they had a fine 
open view to the south; and as Sam'l took the common, which 
was a short cut, though a steep ascent, to T'nowhead, he was 
never out of their line of vision. Sanders was not to be seen, 
but they guessed rightly the reason why. Thinking he had 
ample time, he had gone round by the main road to save his 
boots — perhaps a little scared by what was coming. Sam'l's 
design was to forestall him by taking the shorter path over the 
bum and up the commonty. 

It was a race for a wife, and several onlookers in the gallery 
braved the minister's displeasure to see who won. Those who 
favored Sam'l's suit exultingly saw him leap the stream, while 
the friends of Sanders fixed their eyes on the top of the common 
where it ran into the road. Sanders must come into sight there, 
and the one who reached this point first would get Bell. 

As Auld Lichts do not walk abroad on the Sabbath, Sanders 
would probably not be delayed. The chances were in his favor. 
Had it been any other day in the week, Sam'l might have run. 
So some of the congregation in the gallery were thinking, when 
suddenly they saw him bend low and then take to his heels. He 
had caught sight of Sanders's head bobbing over the hedge that 
separated the road from the common, and feared that Sanders 
might see him. The congregation who could crane their necks 
sufficiently saw a black object, which they guessed to be the 
carter's hat, crawling along the hedge-top. For a moment it was 
motionless, and then it shot ahead. The rivals had seen each 
other. It was now a hot race. Sam'l, dissembling no longer, 
clattered up the common, becoming smaller and smaller to the 
onlookers as he nearcd the top. More than one person in the 
gallery almost rose to their feet in their excitement. Sam'l had 
it. No, Sanders was in front. Then the two figures disappeared 
from view. They seemed to run into each other at the top of 
the brae, and no one could say who was first. The congregation 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 1 585 

looked at one another. Some of them perspired. But the min- 
ister held on his course. 

Sam'l had just been in time to cut Sanders out. It was the 
weaver's saving that Sanders saw this when his rival turned the 
corner; for Sam'l was sadly blown. Sanders took in the situa- 
tion and gave in at once. The last hundred yards of the dis- 
tance he covered at his leisure, and when he arrived at his 
destination he did not go in. It was a fine afternoon for the 
time of year, and he went round to have a look at the pig, 
about which T'nowhead was a little sinfully puffed up. 

**Ay,'* said Sanders, digging his fingers critically into the 
grunting animal ; " quite so. " 

" Grumph ! ** said the pig, getting reluctantly to his feet. 

" Ou ay ; yes, " said Sanders, thoughtfully. 

Then he sat down on the edge of the sty, and looked long 
and silently at an empty bucket. But whether his thoughts were 
of T'nowhead's Bell, whom he had lost forever, or of the food 
the farmer fed his pig on, is not known. 

"Lord preserve's! Are ye no at the kirk?* cried Bell, nearly 
dropping the baby as Sam'l broke into the room. 

«Bell!» cried Sam'l. 

Then T'nowhead's Bell knew that her hour had come. 

"Sam'l," she faltered. 

" Will ye hae's, Bell ? " demanded Sam'l, glaring at her sheep- 
ishly. 

"Ay," answered Bell. 

Sam'l fell into a chair. 

" Bring's a drink o' water. Bell," he said. 

But Bell thought the occasion required milk, and there was 
none in the kitchen. She went out to the byre, still with the 
baby in her arms, an-d saw Sanders Elshioner sitting gloomily on 
the pig-sty. 

"Weel, Bell," said Sanders. 

" I thocht ye'd been at the kirk, Sanders, " said Bell. 

Then there was a silence between them. 

" Has Sam'l speired ye, Bell ? " asked Sanders, stolidly. 

" Ay, " said Bell again, and this time there was a tear in her 
eye. Sanders was little better than an " orra man," and Sam'l was 
a weaver, and yet — 

But it was too late now. Sanders gave the pig a vicious poke 
with a stick, and when it had ceased to grunt, Bell was back in 



If 86 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

the kitchen. She had forgotten about the milk, however, and 
Sam'l only got water after all. 

In after days, when the story of Bell's wooing was told, there 
were some who held that the circumstances would have almost 
justified the lassie in giving Sam'l the go-by. But these perhaps 
forgot that her other lover was in the same predicament as the 
accepted one — that, of the two, indeed, he was the more to 
blame, for he set off to T'nowhead on the Sabbath of his own 
accord, while Sam'l only ran after him. And then there is no 
one to say for certain whether Bell heard of her suitors' delin- 
quencies until Lisbeth's return from the kirk. Sam'l could never 
remember whether he told her, and Bell was not sure whether, 
if he did, she took it in.- Sanders was greatly in demand for 
weeks after to tell what he knew of the affair, but though he 
was twice asked to tea to the manse among the trees, and sub- 
jected thereafter to ministerial cross-examinations, this is all he 
told. He remained at the pig-sty until Sam'l left the farm, when 
he joined him at the top of the brae, and they went home 
together. 

"It's yersel, Sanders,** said Sam'l. 
. "It is so, Sam'l,** said Sanders. 

"Very cauld,** said Sam'l. 

" Blawy, ** assented Sanders. 

After a pause — 

"Sam'l,** said Sanders. 

«Ay.*> 

"I'm hearin' yer to be mairit. ** 

" Ay. ** 

"Weel, Sam'l, she's a snod bit lassie.** 

"Thank ye,** said Sam'l. 

"I had ance a kin' o' notion o' Bell mysel,** continued Sanders. 

" Ye had ? ** 

"Yes, Sam'l; but I thocht better o't.** 

" Hoo d'ye mean ? ** asked Sam'l, a little anxiously. 

"Weel, Sam'l, mairitch is a terrible responsibeelity. ** 

"It is so,** said Sam'l, wincing. 

"An' no the thing to take up withoot conseederation.** 

"But it's a blessed and honorable state, Sanders; ye've heard 
the minister on't. ** 

"They say,** continued the relentless Sanders, "'at the minis- 
ter doesna get on sair wi' the wife himsel.** 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 1 587 

"So they do," cried Sam'l, with a sinking at the heart. 

"I've been telt," Sanders went on, "'at gin you can get the 
upper han' o' the wife for awhile at first, there's the mair chance 
o' a harmonious exeestence. " 

"Bell's no the lassie," said Sam'l, appealingly, "to thwart her 
man. '* 

Sanders smiled. 

" D'ye think she is, vSanders ? " 

"Weel, Sam'l, I d'na want to fluster ye, but she's been ower 
lang wi' Lisbeth Fargus no to hae learnt her ways. An' a'body 
kins what a life T'nowhead has wi' her." 

" Guid sake, Sanders, hoo did ye no speak o' this afoore ? " 

" I thocht ye kent o't, Sam'l. " 

They had now reached the square, and the U. P. kirk was 
coming out. The Auld Licht kirk would be half an hour yet. 

"But, Sanders," said Sam'l, brightening up, "ye was on yer 
wy to spier her yersel. " 

" I was, Sam'l, " said Sanders, " and I canna but be thankfu' 
ye was ower quick for's. " 

" Gin't hadna been for you, " said Sam'l, " I wid never hae 
thocht o't." 

" I'm sa3dn' naething agin Bell, " pursued the other, " but, man 
Sam'l, a body should be mair deleeberate in a thing o' the kind." 

" It was michty hurried, " said Sam'l, wofully. 

"It's a serious thing to spier a lassie," said Sanders. 

"It's an awfu' thing," said Sam'l. 

" But we'll hope for the best, " added Sanders, in a hopeless 
voice. 

They were close to the Tenements now, and Sam'l looked as 
if he were on his way to be hanged. 

« Sam'l ? " 

" Ay, Sanders. " 

" Did ye — did ye kiss her, Sam'l ? " 

« Na. » 

« Hoo ? " 

"There's was varra little time, Sanders." 

" Half an 'oor, " said Sanders. 

" Was there ? Man Sanders, to tell ye the truth, I never 
thocht o't." 

Then the soul of Sanders Elshioner was filled with contempt 
for Sam'l Dickie. 



1588 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

The scandal blew over. At first it was expected that the 
minister would interfere to prevent the union, but beyond inti- 
mating from the pulpit that the souls of Sabbath-breakers were 
beyond praying for, and then praying for Sam'l aad Sanders at 
great length, with a word thrown in for Bell, he let things take 
their course. Some said it was because he was always fright- 
ened lest his young men should intermarry with other denomina- 
tions, but Sanders explained it differently to Sam'l. 

* I hav'na a word to say agin the minister, '* he said ; " they're 
gran' prayers, but Sam'l, he's a mairit man himsel. " 

" He's a' the better for that, Sanders, isna he ? " 

*' Do ye no see, " asked Sanders, compassionately, " 'at he's 
tryin' to mak the best o't ? ** 

" Oh, Sanders, man ! *' said Sam'l. 

"Cheer up, Sam'l,'* said Sanders; ** it'll sune be ower. * 

Their having been rival suitors had not interfered with their 
friendship. On the contrary, while they had hitherto been mere 
acquaintances, they became inseparables as the wedding-day drew 
near. It was noticed that they had much to say to each other, 
and that when they could not get a room to themselves they 
wandered about together in the churchyard. When Sam'l had 
anything to tell Bell, he sent Sanders to tell it, and Sanders did 
as he was bid. There was nothing that he would not have done 
for Sam'l. 

The more obliging Sanders was, however, the sadder Sam'l 
grew. He never laughed now on Saturdays, and sometimes his 
loom was silent half the day. Sam'l felt that Sanders's was the 
kindness of a friend for a dying man. 

It was to be a penny wedding, and Lisbeth Fargus said it 
was delicacy that made Sam'l superintend the fitting-up of the 
bam by deputy. Once he came to see it in person, but he 
looked so ill that Sanders had to see him home. This was 
on the Thursday afternoon, and the wedding was fixed for Fri- 
day. 

"Sanders, Sanders," said Sam'l, in a voice strangely unlike 
his own, " it'll a' be ower by this time the mom. " 

"It will,** said Sanders. 

"If I had only kent her langer,** continued Sam'l. 

" It wid hae been safer, ** said Sanders. 

" Did ye see the yallow floor in Bell's bonnet ? ** asked the 
accepted swain. 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE l^gj 

** Ay, ** said Sanders, reluctantly. 

** I'm dootin' — I'm sair dootin' she's but a flichty, licht-hearted 
crittur, after a'.** 

"I had ay my suspeecions o't," said Sanders. 
" Ye hae kent her langer than me, " said Sam'l. 

* Yes, ** said Sanders, " but there's nae gettin' at the heart o' 
women. Man Sam'l, they're desperate cunnin'." 

" I'm dootin't ; I'm sair dootin't. " 

" It'll be a wamin' to ye, Sam'l, no to be in sic a hurry i' 
the futur,** said Sanders. 

Sam'l groaned. 

" Ye'U be gaein up to the manse to arrange wi' the minister 
the mom's mornin'," continued Sanders, in a subdued voice. 

Sam'l looked wistfully at his friend. 

" I canna do't, Sanders, " he said, " I canna do't. " 

"Ye maun," said Sanders. 

" It's aisy to speak, '* retorted Sam'l, bitterly. 

"We have a' oor troubles, Sam'l, said Sanders, soothingly, 
"an* every man maun bear his ain burdens. Johnny Davie's 
wife's dead, an' he's no repinin'." 

"Ay," said Sam'l, "but a death's no a mairitch. We hae haen 
deaths in our family, too." 

"It may a' be for the best," added Sanders, "an' there wid 
be a michty talk i' the hale country-side gin ye didna ging to 
the minister like a man." 

"I maun hae langer to think o't," said Sam'l. 

"Bell's mairitch is the mom," said Sanders, decisively. 

Sam'l glanced up with a wild look in his eyes. 

* Sanders ! " he cried. 
" Sam'l ! " 

"Ye hae been a guid friend to me, Sanders, in this sair 
affliction. " 

"Nothing ava," said Sanders; "dount mention 't." 

" But, Sanders, ye canna deny but what your rinnin oot o* 
the kirk that awfu' day was at the bottom o't a'." 

" It was so, " said Sanders, bravely. 
• "An' ye used to be fond o' Bell, Sanders." 

" I dinna deny't. " 

" Sanders, laddie, " said Sam'l, bending forward and speaking 
in a wheedling voice, "I aye thocht it was you she likit. " 

" I had some sic idea mysel, " said Sanders. 



,2 go JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

" Sanders, I canna think to pairt twa fowk sae weel suited to 
ane anither as you an' Bell." 

" Canna ye, Sam'l ? ** 

* She wid make ye a guid wife, Sanders. I hae studied her 
weel, and she's a thrifty, douce, clever lassie. Sanders, there's 
no the like o' her. Mony a time, Sanders, I hae said to mysel. 
There's a lass ony man micht be prood to tak. A'body says the 
same, Sanders. There's nae risk ava, man; nane to speak o'. 
Tak her, laddie, tak her, Sanders, it's a grand chance, Sanders. 
She's yours for the speirin. I'll gie her up, Sanders." 

" Will ye, though ? " said Sanders. 

« What d'ye think ? " asked Sam'l. 

" If ye wid rayther, " said Sanders, politely. 

"There's my han' on't, " said Sam'l. "Bless ye, Sanders; 
ye've been a true frien' to me." 

Then they shook hands for the first time in their lives; and 
soon afterward Sanders struck up the brae to T'nowhead. 

Next morning Sanders Elshioner, who had been very busy 
the night before, put on his Sabbath clothes and strolled up to 
the manse. 

"But — but where is Sam'l?" asked the minister. "I must 
see himself." 

" It's a new arrangement," said Sanders. 

" What do you mean, Sanders ? " 

"Bell's to marry me," explained Sanders. 

"But — but what does Sam'l say?" 

"He's willin'," said Sanders. 

"And Bell?" 

"She's willin', too. She prefers it." 

"It is unusual," said the minister. 

"It's a' richt," said Sanders. 

"Well, you know best," said the minister. 

"You see, the hoose was taen, at ony rate," continued San- 
ders. "An' I'll juist ging in til't instead o' Sam'l." 

"Quite so." 

"An' I cudna think to disappoint the lassie." 

"Your sentiments do you credit, Sanders," said the minister; 
•*but I hope you do not enter upon the blessed state of matri- 
mony without full consideration of its responsibilities. It is a 
serious business, marriage." 

"It's a' that," said Sanders; "but I'm willin' to stan' the risk." 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 1 59 1 

So, as soon as it could be done, Sanders Elshioner took to 
wife T'nowhead's Bell, and I remember seeing Sam'l Dickie try- 
ing to dance at the penny wedding. 

Years afterward it was said in Thrums that Sam'l had treated 
Bell badly, but he was never sure about it himself. 

"It was a near thing — a michty near thing," he admitted in 
the square. 

"They say," some other weaver would remark, "'at it was 
you Bell liked best." 

*'I d'na kin," Sam'l would reply, "but there's nae doot the 
lassie was fell fond o' me. Ou, a mere passin' fancy's ye micht 
say. " 



JESS LEFT ALONE 
From <A Window in Thrums' 

THERE may be a few who care to know how the lives of Jess 
and Hendry ended. Leeby died in the back end of the year 
I have been speaking of, and as I was snowed up in the 
school-house at the time, I heard the news from Gavin Birse too 
late to attend her funeral. She got her death on the commonty 
one day of sudden rain, when she had run out to bring in her 
washing, for the terrible cold she woke with next morning carried 
her off very quickly. Leeby did not blame Jamie for not coming 
to her, nor did I, for I knew that even in the presence of death 
the poor must drag their chains. He never got Hendry's letter 
with the news, and we know now that he was already in the 
hands of her who played the devil with his life. Before the 
spring came he had been lost to Jess. 

" Them 'at has got sae mony blessin's mair than the gener- 
ality," Hendry said to me one day, when Craigiebuckle had given 
me a lift into Thrums, " has nae shame if they would pray aye 
for mair. The Lord has gi'en this hoose sae muckle, 'at to pray 
for mair looks like no bein' thankfu' for what we've got. Ay, 
but I canna help prayin' to Him 'at in His great mercy he'll tak 
Jess afore me. Noo 'at Leeby's gone, an' Jamie never lets us 
hear frae him, I canna gt^lp doon the thocht o' Jess bein' left 
alane." 

This was a prayer that Hendry may be pardoned for having 
so often in his heart, though God did not think fit to grant it. 



jrgj JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

In Thrums, when a weaver died, his women-folk had to take his 
seat at the loom, and those who, by reason of infirmities, could 
not do so, went to a place, the name of which, I thank God, I 
am not compelled to write in this chapter. I could not, even at 
this day, have told any episode in the life of Jess had it ended 
in the poor house. 

Hendry would probably have recovered from the fever had 
not this terrible dread darkened his intellect when he was still 
prostrate. He was lying in the kitchen when I saw him last in 
life, and his parting words must be sadder to the reader than 
they were to me. 

** Ay, richt ye are, ** he said, in a voice that had become a 
child's; "I hae muckle, muckle to be thankfu' for, an' no the 
least is 'at baith me an' Jess has aye belonged to a bural society. 
We hae nae cause to be anxious aboot a' thing bein' dune respect- 
able aince we're gone. It was Jess 'at insisted on oor joinin': 
a' the wisest things I ever did I was put up to by her." 

I parted from Hendry, cheered by the doctor's report, but 
the old weaver died a few days afterw^ard. His end was mourn- 
ful, yet I can recall it now as the not unworthy close of a good 
man's life. One night poor worn Jess had been helped ben 
into the room, Tibbie Birse having undertaken to sit up with 
Hendry. 

Jess slept for the first time for many days, and as the night 
was dying Tibbie fell asleep too. Hendry had been better than 
usual, lying quietly, Tibbie said, and the fever was gone. About 
three o'clock Tibbie woke and rose to mend the fire. Then she 
saw that Hendry was not in his bed. 

Tibbie went ben the house in her stocking soles, but Jess 
heard her. 

"What is't, Tibbie?" she asked, anxiously. 

*Ou, it's no naething, '* Tibbie said; "he's lyin' rale quiet.** 

Then she went up to the attic. Hendry was not in the 
house. 

She opened the door gently and stole out. It was not snow- 
ing, but there had been a heavy fall two days before, and the 
night was windy. A tearing gale had blown the upper part of 
the brae clear, and from T'nowhead's fields the snow was rising 
like smoke. Tibbie ran to the farm and woke up T'nowhead. 

For an hour they looked in vain for Hendry. At last some 
one asked who was working in Elshioner's shop all night. This 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 150)3 

was the long earthen-floored room in which Hendry's loom stood 
with three others. 

* It'll be Sanders Whamond likely," T'nowhead said, and the 
other men nodded. 

But it happened that T'nowhead's Bell, who had flung on a 
wrapper, and hastened across to sit with Jess, heard of the light 
in Elshioner's shop. 

"It's Hendry," she cried; and then every one moved toward 
the workshop. 

The light at the diminutive, dam-covered window was pale 
and dim, but Bell, who was at the house first, could make the 
most of a cruizey's glimmer. 

** It's him, " she said ; and then, with swelling throat, she ran 
back to Jess. 

The door of the workshop was wide open, held against the 
wall by the wind. T'nowhead and the others went in. The 
cruizey stood on the little window. Hendry's back was to the 
door, and he was leaning forward on the silent loom. He had 
been dead for some time, but his fellow-workers saw that he 
must have weaved for nearly an hour. 

So it came about that for the last few months of her pilgrim- 
age Jess was left alone. Yet I may not say that she was alone. 
Jamie, who should have been with her, was undergoing his own 
ordeal far away; where, we did not now even know. But 
though the poorhouse stands in Thrums, where all may see it, 
the neighbors did not think only of themselves. 

Than Tammas Haggart there can scarcely have been a poorer 
man, but Tammas was the first to come forward with offer of 
help. To the day of Jess's death he did not once fail to carry 
her water to her in the morning, and the luxuriously living men 
of Thrums in these present days of pumps at every corner, can 
hardly realize what that meant. Often there were lines of people 
at the well by three o'clock in the morning, and each had to 
wait his turn. Tammas filled his own pitcher and pan, and then 
had to take his place at the end of the line with Jess's pitcher 
and pan, to wait his turn again. His own house was in the 
Tenements, far from the brae in winter time, but he always said 
to Jess it was "naething ava. " 

E-i^ery Saturday old Robbie Angus sent a bag of sticks and 
shavings from the sawmill by his little son Rob, who was after- 
ward to become a man for speaking about at nights. Of all the 



ICQ^ JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

friends that Jess and Hendry had, T'nowhead was the ablest to 
help, and the sweetest memory I have of the farmer and his 
wife is the delicate way they offered it. You who read will see 
Jess wince at the offer of charity. But the poor have fine feel- 
ings beneath the grime, as you will discover if you care to look 
for them; and when Jess said she would bake if anyone would 
buy, you would wonder to hear how many kindly folk came to 
her door for scones. 

She had the house to herself at nights, but Tibbie Birse was 
with her early in the morning, and other neighbors dropped in. 
Not for long did she have to wait the summons to the better 
home. 

** Na, " she said to the minister, who has told me that he was 
a better man from knowing her, " my thocht is no nane set oh 
the vanities o' the world noo. I kenna hoo I could ever hae 
haen sic an ambeetion to hae thae stuff-bottomed chairs." 

I have tried to keep away from Jamie, whom the neighbors 
sometimes upbraided in her presence. It is of him you who 
read would like to hear, and I cannot pretend that Jess did not 
sit at her window looking for him. 

"Even when she was bakin'," Tibbie told me, "she aye had 
an eye on the brae. If Jamie had come at ony time when it 
was licht she would hae seen 'im as sune as he turned the 
corner. '* 

"If he ever comes back, the sacket ** (rascal), T'nowhead said 
to Jess, "we'll show 'im the door gey quick." 

Jess just looked, and all the women knew how she would take 
Jamie to her arms. 

We did not know of the London woman then, and Jess never 
knew of her. Jamie's mother never for an hour allowed that he 
had become anything but the loving laddie of his youth. 

"I ken 'im ower weel," she always said, "my ain Jamie." 

Toward the end she was sure he was dead. I do not know 
when she first made up her mind to this, nor whether it was not 
merely a phrase for those who wanted to discuss him with her. 
I know that she still sat at the window looking at the elbow of 
the brae. 

The minister was with her when she died. She was in her 
chair, and he asked her, as was his custom, if there was any par- 
ticular chapter which she would like him to read. Since her 
husband's death she had always asked for the fourteenth of John, 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE I^gj 

" Hendry's chapter, " as it is still called among a very few old 
people in Thrums. This time she asked him to read the six- 
teenth chapter of Genesis. 

" When I came to the thirteenth verse, " the minister told me, 
" * And she called the name of the Lord that spake unto her, 
Thou God seest me,* she covered her face with her two hands, 
and said, * Joey's text, Joey's text. Oh, but I grudged ye sair, 
Joey.>» 

" I shut the book, " the minister said, " when I came to the 
end of the chapter, and then I saw that she was dead. It is my 
belief that her heart broke one-and-twenty years ago.** 



AFTER THE SERMON 

From <The Little Minister*: by permission of the American Publishers' 

Corporation 

ONE may gossip in a glen on Sabbaths, though not in a town, 
without losing his character, and I used to await the return 
of my neighbor, the farmer of Waster Lunny, and of 
Birse, the Glen Quharity post, at the end of the school-house 
path. Waster Lunny was a man whose care in his leisure hours 
was to keep from his wife his great pride in her. His horse, 
Catlaw, on the other hand, he told outright what he thought of 
it, praising it to its face and blackguarding it as it deserved, and 
I have seen him, when completely bafQed by the brute, sit down 
before it on a stone and thus harangue: — "You think you're 
clever, Catlaw, my lass, but you're mista'en. You're a thrawn 
limmer, that's what you are. You think you have blood in you. 
You ha'e blood! Gae awa, and dinna blether. I tell you what, 
Catlaw, I met a man yestreen that kent your mither, and he 
says she was a feikie,* fushionless besom. What do you say to 
that ? '* 

As for the post, I will say no more of him than that his 
bitter topic was the unreasonableness of humanity, which treated 
him graciously when he had a letter for it, but scowled at him 
when he had none, " aye implying that I ha'e a letter, but keep 
it back.'* 

On the Sabbath evening after the riot, I stood at the usual 
place awaiting my friends, and saw before they reached me that 

* Feikie, over-particular. 



ieQ6 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

they had something untoward to tell. The farmer, his wife, and 
three children, holding each other's hands, stretched across the 
road. Birse was a little behind, but a conversation was being 
kept up by shouting. All were walking the Sabbath pace, and 
the family having started half a minute in advance, the post had 
not yet made up on them. 

"It's sitting to snaw," Waster Lunny said, drawing near, and 
just as I was to reply, "It is so," Silva slipped in the words 
before me. 

"You wasna at the kirk," was Elspeth's salutation. I had 
been at the glen church, but did not contradict her, for it is 
Established, and so neither here nor there. I was anxious, too, 
to know what their long faces meant, and therefore asked at 
once, — " Was Mr. Dishart on the riot ? " 

"Forenoon, ay; afternoon, no," replied Waster Lunny, walking 
round his wife to get nearer me. " Dominie, a queery thing 
happened in the kirk this day, sic as — " 

"Waster Lunny," interrupted Elspeth sharply, "have you on 
your Sabbath shoon or have you no on your Sabbath shoon ? " 

" Guid care you took I should ha'e the dagont oncanny things 
on," retorted the farmer. 

"Keep out o' the gutter, then," said Elspeth, "on the Lord's 
day." 

"Him," said her man, "that is forced by a foolish woman to 
wear genteel 'lastic-sided boots canna forget them until he takes 
them aff. Whaur's the extra reverence in wearing shoon twa 
sizes ower sma' ? " 

"It mayna be mair reverent," suggested Birse, to whom Els- 
peth's kitchen was a pleasant place, "but it's grand, and you 
canna expect to be baith grand and comfortable." 

I reminded them that they were speaking of Mr. Dishart. 

"We was saying," began the post briskly, "that — " 

"It was me that was saying it," said Waster Lunny. "So, 
Dominie — " 

" Haud your gabs, baith o' you," interrupted Elspeth. "You've 
been roaring the story to one another till you're hoarse." 

"In the forenoon," Waster Lunny went on determinedly, "Mr. 
Dishart preached on the riot, and fine he was. Oh, dominie, you 
should hae heard him ladling it on to Lang Tammas, no by 
name, but in sic a way that there was no mistaking wha he was 
preaching at. Sal! oh, losh! Tammas got it strong." 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE Ijtjy 

"But he's dull in the uptake,'* broke in the post, "by what I 
expected. I spoke to him after the sermon, and I says, just to 
see if he was properly humbled : — ' Ay, Tammas, * I says, * them 
that discourse was preached against winna think themselves seven- 
feet men for a while again.* *Ay, Birse,* he answers, 'and glad 
I am to hear you admit it, for he had you in his eye.* I was 
fair scunnered at Tammas the day.** 

"Mr. Dishart was preaching at the whole clan-jamfray o' you,** 
said Elspeth. 

"Maybe he was,** said her husband, leering; "but you needna 
cast it at us, for my certie, if the men got it frae him in the 
forenoon, the women got it in the afternoon.** 

"He redd them up most michty, ** said the post. " Thae was 
his very words or something like them : — * Adam, * says he, * was 
an erring man, but aside Eve he was respectable.*** 

"Ay, but it wasna a' women he meant,** Elspeth explained, 
"for when he said that, he pointed his finger direct at T'now- 
head's lassie, and I hope it'll do her good.** 

"But, I wonder,** I said, "that Mr. Dishart chose such a sub- 
ject to-day. I thought he would be on the riot at both services.** 

" You'll wonder mair, ** said Elspeth, " when you hear what 
happened afore he began the afternoon sermon. But I canna 
get in a word wi' that man o' mine.** 

"We've been speaking about it,'* said Birse, "ever since we 
left the kirk door. Tod, we've been sawing it like seed a' '^''?'ng 
the glen.** 

"And we meant to tell you about it at once,** said Waster 
Lunny; "but there's aye so muckle to say about a minister. 
Dagont, to hae ane keeps a body out o' languor. Aye, but this 
breaks the drum. Dominie, either Mr. Dishart wasna weel or he 
was in the devil's grip.** 

This startled me, for the farmer was looking serious. 

" He was weel eneuch, ** said Birse, " for a heap o' f owk spiered 
at Jean if he had ta'en his porridge as usual, and she admitted 
he had. But the lassie was skeered hersel', and said it was a 
mercy Mrs. Dishart wasna in the kirk.** 

" Why was she not there ? ** I asked anxiously. 

" Ou, he winna let her out in sic weather. ** 

" I wish you would tell me what happened, ** I said to Elspeth. 

" So I will, '* she answered, " if Waster Lunny would baud his 
wheest for a minute. You see the afternoon diet began in the 



J cog JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

ordinary way, and a' was richt until we came to the sermon. 
* You will find my text,' he says, in his piercing voice, * in the 
eighth chapter of Ezra. * ** 

" And at thae words, " said Waster Lunny, " my heart gae a 
loup, for Ezra is an unca ill book to find; ay, and so is Ruth.** 

" I kent the books o' the Bible by heart, ** said Elspeth, scorn- 
fully, " when I was a sax-year-auld. '* 

** So did I,** said Waster Lunny, "and I ken them yet, except 
when I'm hurried. When Mr. Dish art gave out Ezra he a sort 
o' keeked round the kirk to find out if he had puzzled onybody, 
and so there was a kind o' a competition among the congregation 
wha would lay hand on it first. That was what doited me. Ay, 
there was Ruth when she wasna wanted, but Ezra, dagont, it 
looked as if Ezra had jumped clean out o' the Bible.** 

** You wasna the only distressed crittur, '* said his wife. "I 
was ashamed to see Eppie McLaren looking up the order o' the 
books at the beginning o' the Bible.** 

** Tibbie Birse was even mair brazen,** said the post, "for the 
sly cuttie opened at Kings and pretended it was Ezra.** 

" None o' thae things would I do, ** said Waster Lunny, ** and 
sal, I dauredna, for Davit Lunan was glowering ower my shuther. 
Ay, you may scowl at me, Elspeth Proctor, but as far back as I 
can mind Ezra has done me. Mony a time afore I start for the 
kirk I take my Bible to a quiet place and look Ezra up. In the 
very pew I says canny to mysel', 'Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job,* 
the which should be a help, but the moment the minister gi'es 
out that awfu' book, away goes Ezra like the Egyptian.** 

"And you after her,** said Elspeth, "like the weavers that 
wouldna fecht. You make a windmill of your Bible.** 

"Oh, I winna admit I'm beat. Never mind, there's queer 
things in the world forby Ezra. How is cripples aye so puffed 
up mair than other folk ? How does flour-bread aye fall on the 
buttered side ? ** 

" I will mind, ** Elspeth said, " for I was terrified the minister 
would admonish you frae the pulpit.** 

" He couldna hae done that, for was he no baffled to find Ezra 
himsel' ?** 

"Him no find Ezra!** cried Elspeth. "I hae telled you a 
dozen times he found it as easy as you could yoke a horse.** 

"The thing can be explained in no other way,** said her hus- 
band doggedly; "if he was weel and in sound mind.** 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE Ijgg 

** Maybe the dominie can clear it up, '* suggested the post, 
"him being a scholar." 

"Then tell me what happened," I asked. 

" Man, hae we no telled you ? " Birse said. " I thocht we 
had." 

"It was a terrible scene," said Elspeth, giving her husband a 
shove. " As I said, Mr. Dishart gave out Ezra eighth. Weel, 
I turned it up in a jiffy, and syne looked cautiously to see how 
Eppie McLaren was getting on. Just at that minute I heard a 
groan frae the pulpit. It didna stop short o' a groan. Ay, you 
may be sure I looked quick at the minister, and there I saw a 
sicht that would hae made the grandest gape. His face was as 
white as a baker's, and he had a sort of fallen against the back 
o' the pulpit, staring demented-like at his open Bible." 

"And I saw him," said Birse, "piit up his hand atween him 
and the Book, as if he thocht it was to jump at him." 

"Twice," said Elspeth, "he tried to speak, and twice he let 
the words fall." 

"That," said Waster Lunny, "the whole congregation admits, 
but I didna see it mysel', for a' this time you may picture me 
hunting savage-hke for Ezra. I thocht the minister was waiting 
till I found it." 

"Hendry Munn," said Birse, "stood upon one leg, wondering 
whether he should run to the session-house for a glass of water." 

"But by that time," said Elspeth, "the fit had left Mr. Dish- 
art, or rather it had ta'en a new turn. He grew red, and it's 
gospel that he stamped his foot." 

"He had the face of one using bad words," said the post. 
"He didna swear, of course, but that was the face he had on." 

" I missed it, " said Waster Lunny, " for I was in full cry 
after Ezra, with the sweat running down my face." 

" But the most astounding thing has yet to be telled, " went 
on Elspeth. " The minister shook himsel' like one wakening frae 
a nasty dream, and he cries in a voice of thunder, just as if he 
was shaking his fist at somebody — " 

" He cries, " Birse interposed, cleverly, " he cries, * You will 
find the text in Genesis, chapter three, verse six.*" 

"Yes," said Elspeth, "first he gave out one text, and then he 
gave out another, being the most amazing thing to my mind that 
ever happened in the town of Thrums. What will our children's 
children think o't ? I wouldna ha'e missed it for a pound note. " 



l6oo JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

**Norme,'* said Waster Lunny, "though I only got the tail 
o't. Dominie, no sooner had he said Genesis third and sixth, 
than I laid my finger on Ezra. Was it no provoking ? Onybody 
can turn up Genesis, but it needs an able-bodied man to find 
Ezra. » 

** He preached on the Fall," Elspeth said, "for an hour and 
twenty-five minutes, but powerful though he was I would rather 
he had telled us what made him gie the go-by to Ezra." 

** All I can say, " said Waster Lunny, " is that I never heard 
him mair awe-inspiring. Whaur has he got sic a knowledge of 
women ? He riddled them, he fair riddled them, till I was 
ashamed o' being married." 

"It's easy kent whaur he got his knowledge of women," Birse 
explained, " it's a' in the original Hebrew. You can howk ony 
mortal thing out o' the original Hebrew, the which all ministers 
hae at their finger ends. What else makes them ken to jump a 
verse now and then when giving out a psalm ? " 

" It wasna women like me he denounced, " Elspeth insisted, 
" but young lassies that leads men astray wi' their abominable 
wheedling ways." 

" Tod, " said her husband, " if they try their hands on Mr. 
Dishart they'll meet their match." 

"They will," chuckled the post. "The Hebrew's a grand 
thing, though teuch, I'm telled, michty teuch." 

" His sublimest burst, " Waster Lunny came back to tell me, 
" was about the beauty o' the soul being everything and the 
beauty o' the face no worth a snuff. What a scorn he has for 
bonny faces and toom souls! I dinna deny but what a bonny 
face fell takes me, but Mr. Dishart wouldna gi'e a blade o' grass 
for't. Ay, and I used to think that in their foolishness about 
women there was dagont little differ atween the unlearned and 
the highly edicated." 

THE MUTUAL DISCOVERY 

From <The Little Minister >: by permission of the American Publishers' 

Corporation 

A YOUNG man thinks that he alone of mortals is impervious to 
love, and so the discovery that he is in it suddenly alters 
his views of his own mechanism. It is thus not unlike a 
rap on the funny-bone. Did Gavin make this discovery when the 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 1 60 1 

Egyptian left him ? Apparently he only came to the brink of it 
and stood blind. He had driven her from him for ever, and his 
sense of loss was so acute that his soul cried out for the cure 
rather than for the name of the malady. 

In time he would have realized what had happened, but time 
was denied him, for just as he was starting for the mudhouse 
Babbie saved his dignity by returning to him. . . . She 
looked up surprised, or seemingly surprised, to find him still 
there. 

**I thought you had gone away long ago," she said stiffly. 

"Otherwise,** asked Gavin the dejected, "you would not have 
came back to the well ? ** 

"Certainly not.** 

" I am very sorry. Had you waited another moment I should 
have been gone.** 

This was said in apology, but the willful Egyptian chose to 
change its meaning. 

"You have no right to blame me for disturbing you,** she 
declared with warmth. 

"I did not. I only—** 

"You could have been a mile away by this time. Nanny 
wanted more water.** 

Babbie scrutinized the minister sharply as she made this state- 
ment. Surely her conscience troubled her, for on his not answer- 
ing immediately she said, " Do you presume to disbelieve me ? 
What could have made me return except to fill the pans again ? ** 

" Nothing, ** Gavin admitted eagerly, " and I assure you — ** 

Babbie should have been grateful to his denseness, but it 
merely set her mind at rest. 

"Say anything against me you choose,** she told him. "Say 
it as brutally as you like, for I won't listen.** 

She stopped to hear his response to that, and she looked so 
cold that it almost froze on Gavin's lips. 

" I had no right, ** he said dolefully, " to speak to you as I did. ** 

"You had not,** answered the proud Egyptian. She was look- 
ing away from him to show that his repentance was not even 
interesting to her. However, she had forgotten already not to 
listen. . . . 

She was very near him, and the tears had not yet dried 
on her eyes. They were laughing eyes, eyes in distress, implor- 
ing eyes. Her pale face, smiling, sad, dimpled yet entreating 



l6o2 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

forgiveness, was the one prominent thing in the world to him 
just then. He wanted to kiss her. He would do it as soon as 
her eyes rested on his, but she continued without regarding him. 

" How mean that sounds ! Oh, if I were a man I would wish 
to be everything that I am not, and nothing that I am. I would 
scorn to be a liar, I would choose to be open in all things, I 
would try to fight the world honestly. But I am only a woman, 
and so — well, that is the kind of man I would like to marry.'* 

**A minister may be all these things," said Gavin breathlessly. 

**The man I could love,'* Babbie went on, not heeding him, 
almost forgetting that he was there, " must not spend his days in 
idleness as the men I know do. ** 

« I do not. » 

** He must be brave, no mere worker among others, but a 
leader of men." 

"All ministers are." 

** Who makes his influence felt. " 

** Assuredly. " 

" And takes the side of the weak against the strong, even 
though the strong be in the right." 

*' Always my tendency. " 

** A man who has a mind of his own, and having once made 
it up stands to it in defiance even of — " 

" Of his session. " 

** Of the world. He must understand me. " 

«I do." 

"And be my master." 

" It is his lawful position in the house. " 

*' He must not yield to my coaxing or tempers. " 

"It would be weakness." 

" But compel me to do his bidding ; yes, even thrash me 
if—" 

"If you won't listen to reason. Babbie," cried Gavin, "I am 
that man I " 

Here the inventory abruptly ended, and these two people 
found themselves staring at each other, as if of a sudden they 
had heard something dreadful. I do not know how long they 
stood thus motionless and horrified. I cannot tell even which 
stirred first. All I know is that almost simultaneously they 
turned from each other and hurried out of the wood in opposite 
directions. 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 1 603 

LOST ILLUSIONS 

From < Sentimental Tommy > 

TO-MORROW came, and with it two eager little figures rose and 
gulped their porridge, and set off to see Thrums. They 
were dressed in the black clothes Aaron Latta had bought 
for them in London, and they had agreed just to walk, but when 
they reached the door and saw the tree-tops of the Den they — 
they ran. Would you not like to hold them back ? It is a child's 
tragedy. 

They went first into the Den, and the rocks were dripping 
wet, all the trees save the firs were bare, and the mud round a 
tiny spring pulled off one of Elspeth's boots. 

"Tommy," she cried, quaking, "that narsty puddle can't not 
be the Cuttle Well, can it?" 

" No, it ain't, " said Tommy, quickly, but he feared it was. 

"It's c-c-colder here than London," Elspeth said, shivering, 
and Tommy was shivering too, but he answered, "I'm — I'm — 
I'm warm." 

The Den was strangely small, and soon they were on a 
shabby brae, where women in short gowns came to their doors 
and men in night-caps sat down on the shafts of their barrows to 
look at Jean Myles's bairns. 

"What does yer think ^" Elspeth whispered, very doubtfully. 

" They're beauties, " Tommy answered, determinedly. 

Present!)^ Elspeth cried, "Oh, Tommy, what a ugly stair! 
Where is the beauty stairs as it wore outside for show ? " 

This was one of them, and Tommy knew it. "Wait till you 
see the west town end, " he said, bravely : " it's grand. " But 
when they were in the west town end, and he had to admit it, 
" Wait till you see the square, " he said, and when they were in 
the square, " Wait, " he said, huskily, " till you see the town- 
house." Alas, this was the town-house facing them, and when 
they knew it, he said, hurriedly, " Wait till you see the Auld 
Licht kirk." 

They stood long in front of the Auld Licht kirk, which he 
had sworn was bigger and lovelier than St. Paul's, but — well, it 
is a different style of architecture, and had Elspeth not been 
there with tears in waiting, Tommy would have blubbered. " It's 
-^it'sx^ittler than I thought," he said, desperately, "but — the 
minister, oh, what a wonderful big man he is ! " 



l6o4 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 

** Are you sure ? ** Elspeth squeaked. 

** I swear he is. ** 

The church door opened and a gentleman came out, a little 
man, boyish in the back, with the eager face of those who live 
too quickly. But it was not at him that Tommy pointed reas- 
suringly; it was at the monster church key, half of which pro- 
truded from his tail pocket and waggled as he moved, like the 
hilt of a sword. 

Speaking like an old residenter, Tommy explained that he had 
brought his sister to see the church. "She's ta'en aback," he 
said, picking out Scotch words carefully, "because it's littler than 
the London kirks, but I telled her — I telled her that the preach- 
ing is better." 

This seemed to please the stranger, for he patted Tommy on 
the head while inquiring, " How do you know that the preaching 
is better ? " 

"Tell him, Elspeth," replied Tommy, modestly. 

"There ain't nuthin' as Tommy don't know," Elspeth ex- 
plained. "He knows what the minister is like, too." 

"He's a noble sight," said Tommy. 

"He can get anything from God he likes," said Elspeth. 

"He's a terrible big man," said Tommy. 

This seemed to please the little gentleman less. " Big ! " he 
exclaimed, irritably ; " why should he be big ? " 

"He is big," Elspeth almost screamed, for the minister was 
her last hope. 

" Nonsense ! " said the little gentleman. " He is — well, I am 
the minister." 

" You ! " roared Tommy, wrathfully. 

"Oh, oh, oh!" sobbed Elspeth. 

For a moment the Rev. Mr. Dishart looked as if he would 
like to knock two little heads together, but he walked away 
without doing it. 

"Never mind," whispered Tommy hoarsely to Elspeth. 
"Never mind, Elspeth, you have me yet." 

This consolation seldom failed to gladden her, but her disap- 
pointment was so sharp to-day that she would not even look up. 

"Come away to the cemetery, it's grand," he said; but still 
she would not be comforted. 

"And I'll let you hold my hand — as soon as we're past the 
houses," he added. 



JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 1605 

"I'll let you hold it now," he said, eventually; but even then 
Elspeth cried dismally, and her sobs were hurting him more than 
her. 

He knew all the ways of getting round Elspeth, and when 
next he spoke it was with a sorrowful dignity. " I didna think, ** 
he said, "as yer wanted me never to be able to speak again; no, 
I didna think it, Elspeth." 

She took her hands from her face and looked at him inquir- 
ingly. 

"One of the stories mamma telled me and Reddy, " he said, 
«were a man what saw such a beauty thing that he was struck 
dumb with admiration. Struck dumb is never to be able to 
speak again, and I wish I had been struck dumb when you 
wanted it." 

"But I didn't want it!" Elspeth cried. 

" If Thrums had been one little bit beautier than it is, " he 
went on, solemnly, "it would have struck me dumb. It would 
have hurt me sore, but what about that, if it pleased you ! " 

Then did Elspeth see what a wicked girl she had been, and 
when next the two were seen by the curious (it was on the 
cemetery road), they were once more looking cheerful. At the 
smallest provocation they exchanged . notes of admiration, such 
as, " O Tommy, what a bonny barrel ! " or " O Elspeth, I tell 
yer that's a dike, and there's just walls in London;" but some- 
times Elspeth would stoop hastily, pretending that she wanted 
to tie her boot-lace, but really to brush away a tear, and there 
were moments when Tommy hung very limp. Each was trying 
to deceive the other for the other's sake, and one of them was 
never good at deception. They saw through each other, yet kept 
up the chilly game, because they could think of nothing better; 
and perhaps the game was worth playing, for love invented it. 
Scribner's Magazine. Copyrighted by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. 



l6o6 JAMES MATTHEW BARRIE 



SINS OF CIRCUMSTANCE 

From 'Sentimental Tommy > 



WITH the darkness, too, crept into the Miickley certain devils 
in the color of the night who spoke thickly and rolled 
braw lads in the mire, and egged on friends to fight, and 
cast lewd thoughts into the minds of the women. At first the 
men had been bashful swains. To the women's ** Gie me my 
faring, Jock," they had replied, "Wait, Jean, till I'm fee'd," but 
by night most had got their arles, with a dram above it, and he 
who could only guffaw at Jean a few hours ago had her round 
the waist now, and still an ann free for rough play with other 
kimmers. The Jeans were as boisterous as the Jocks, giving 
them leer for leer, running from them with a giggle, waiting to 
be caught and rudely kissed. Grand, patient, long-suffering fel- 
lows these men were, up at five, summer and winter, foddering 
their horses, maybe, hours before there would be food for them- 
selves, miserably paid, housed like cattle, and when the rheuma- 
tism seized them, liable to be flung aside like a broken graip. 
As hard was the life of the women: coarse food, chaff beds, 
damp clothes their portion; their sweethearts in the service of 
masters who were loth to fee a married man. Is it to be won- 
dered that these lads who could be faithful unto death drank 
soddenly on their one free day; that these girls, starved of oppor- 
tunities for womanliness, of which they could make as much as 
the finest lady, sometimes woke after a Muckley to wish that they 
might wake no more ? 
Scribner's Magazine. Copyrighted by Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. 



i6o7 




FREDERIC BASTIAT 

(1801-1850) 

OLITICAL Economy has been called the " dismal science '* ; and 
probably the majority think of it as either merely a mat- 
ter of words and phrases, or as something too abstruse for 
the common mind to comprehend. It was the distinction of Bastiat 
that he was able to write economic tracts in such a language that he 
that ran might read, and to clothe the apparently dry bones with 
such integuments as manifested vitality. Under his pen, questions of 
finance, of tax, of exchange, became questions which concern the 
lives of individual men and women, with 
sentiments, hopes, and aspirations. 

He was born at Bayonne in France, 
June 19th, 1 80 1. At nine years of age he 
was left an orphan, but he was cared for 
by his grandfather an(f aunt. He received 
his schooling at the college of St. Sever 
and at Soreze, where he was noted as a 
diligent student. When about twenty years 
of age he was taken into the commercial 
house of his uncle at Bayonne. His leis- 
ure was employed in cultivating art and 
literature, and he became accomplished in 
languages and in instrumental and vocal 
music. He was early interested in politi- 
cal and social economy through the writings of Adam Smith, J. B. 
Say, Comte, and others; and having inherited considerable landed 
property at Mugron on the death of his grandfather in 1827, he under- 
took the personal charge of it, at the same time continuing his 
economic studies. His experiment in farming did not prove success- 
ful; but he rapidly developed clear ideas upon economical problems, 
being much assisted in their consideration by frequent conferences 
with his neighbor, M. Felix Coudroy. These two worked much 
together, and cherished a close sympathy in thought and heart. 

The bourgeois revolution of 1830 was welcomed enthusiastically 
by Bastiat. It was a revolution of prosperous and well-instructed 
men, willing to make sacrifices to attain an orderly and systematic 
method of government. To him the form of the administration did 
not greatly matter: the right to vote taxes was the right which 




Frederic Bastiat 



i6o8 FR6DERIC BASTIAT 

governed the governors. " There is always a tendency on the part 
of governments to extend their powers,** he said; "the administration 
therefore must be under constant surveillance.'* His motto was "Foi 
systematique a la libre activite de I'individu; defiance systematique 
vis-a-vis de I'Etat cong u abstraitement, — c'est-a-dire, defiance par- 
faitement pure de toute hostilite de parti.** [Systematic faith in the 
free activity of the individual; systematic distrust of the State con- 
ceived abstractly, — that is, a distrust entirely free from prejudice.] 

His work with his pen seems to have been begun about 1830, and 
from the first was concerned with matters of economy and govern- 
ment. A year later he was chosen to local office, and every oppor- 
tunity which offered was seized upon to bring before the common 
people the true milk of the economic word, as he conceived it. The 
germ of his theory of values appeared in a pamphlet of 1834, and 
the line of his development was a steady one; his leading princi- 
ples being the importance of restricting the functions of government 
to the maintenance of order, and of removing all shackles from the 
freedom of production and exchange. Through subscription to an 
English periodical he became familiar with Cobden and the Anti- 
Com-Law League, and his subsequent intimacy with Cobden contrib- 
uted much to broaden his horizon. In 1844-5 appeared his brilliant 
*Sophismes economiques, * which in their kind have never been 
equaled; and his reputation rapidly expanded. He enthusiastically 
espoused the cause of Free Trade, and issued a work entitled ' Cob- 
den et la Ligue, ou I'Agitation anglaise pour la liberte des echanges* 
(Cobden and the League, or the English Agitation for Liberty of 
Exchange), which attracted great attention, and won for its author 
the title of corresponding member of the Institute. A movement for 
organization in favor of tariff reform was begun, of which he natur- 
ally became a leader; and feeling that Paris was the centre from 
which influence should flow, to Paris he removed. M. de Molinari 
gives an accoimt of his debut: — "We still seem to see him making 
his first round among the journals which had shown themselves 
favorable to cause of the freedom of commerce. He had not yet 
had time to call upon a Parisian tailor or hatter, and in truth it 
had not occurred to him to do so. With his long hair and his small 
hat, his large surtout and his family umbrella, he would naturally 
be taken for a reputable countryman looking at the sights of the 
metropolis. But his countryman's-face was at the same time roguish 
and spirituelle, his large black eyes were bright and luminous, and 
his forehead, of medium breadth but squarely formed, bore the 
imprint of thought. At a glance one could see that he was a peas- 
ant of the country of Montaigne, and in listening to him one realized 
that here was a disciple of Franklin.** 



FRfiDfiRIC BASTIAT 1 609 

He plunged at once into work, and his activity was prodigious. 
He contributed to numerous journals, maintained an active corre- 
spondence with Cobden, kept up communications with organizations 
throughoiit the country, and was always ready to meet his oppo- 
nents in debate. 

The Republic of 1848 was accepted in good faith; but he was 
strongly impressed by the extravagant schemes which accompanied 
the Republican movement, as well as by the thirst for peace which 
animated multitudes. The Provisional government had made solemn 
promises: it must pile on taxes to enable it to keep its promises. 
"Poor people! How they have deceived themselves! It would have 
been so easy and so just to have eased matters by reducing the 
taxes; instead, this is to be done by profusion of expenditure, and 
people do not see that all this machinery amounts to taking away 
ten in order to return eight, without counting the fact that liberty will 
succumb under the operation?'* He tried to stem the tide of extrava- 
gance; he published a journal, the Republique Frangaise, for the ex- 
press purpose of promulgating his views; he entered the Constituent 
and then the Legislative Assembly, as a member for the department 
of Landes, and spoke eloquently from the tribune. He was a con- 
stitutional " Mugwump " : he cared for neither parties nor men, but 
for ideas. He was equally opposed to the domination of arbitrary 
power and to the tyranny of Socialism. He voted with the right 
against the left on extravagant Utopian schemes, and with the left 
against the right when he felt that the legitimate complaints of the 
poor and suffering were unheeded. 

In the midst of his activity he was overcome by a trouble in the 
throat, which induced his physicians to send him to Italy. The 
effort for relief was a vain one, however, and he died in Rome 
December 24th, 1850. His complete works, mostly composed of 
occasional essays, were printed in 1855. Besides those mentioned, the 
most important are <Propriete et Loi> (Property and Law), * Justice 
et Fraternite,* < Protectionisme et Communisme,* and * Harmonies 
economiques. * The < Harmonies economiques' and *Sophismes econo- 
miques* have been translated and published in English. 



l6io FREDERIC BASTIAT 



PETITION 

Of the Manufacturers of Candles, Wax-Lights, Lamps, Candle- 
sticks, Street Lamps, Snuffers, Extinguishers, and of the 
Producers of Oil, Tallow, Rosin, Alcohol, and Generally 
OF Everything Connected with Lighting. 

To Messieurs the Members of the Chamber of Deputies : 

Gentlemen : — You are on the right road. You reject abstract 
theories, and have little consideration for cheapness and plenty. 
Your chief care is the interest of the producer. You desire to 
emancipate him from 'external competition, and reserve the 
national market for national industry. 

We are about to offer you an admirable opportunity of apply- 
ing your — what shall we call it? your theory? no: nothing is 
more deceptive than theory. Your doctrine ? your system ? your 
principle ? but you dislike doctrines, you abhor systems, and as for 
principles, you deny that there are any in social economy. We 
shall say, then, your practice, your practice without theory and 
without principle. 

We are suffering from the intolerable competition of a foreign 
rival, placed, it would seem, in a condition so far superior to 
ours for the production of light, that he absolutely inundates our 
national market with it at a price fabulously reduced. The 
moment he shows himself, our trade leaves us — all consumers 
apply to him; and a branch of native industry, having countless 
ramifications, is all at once rendered completely stagnant. This 
rival, who is no other than the Sun, wages war to the knife 
against us, and we suspect that he has been raised up by perfid- 
ious A Ibion (good policy as times go) ; inasmuch as he displays 
towards that haughty island a circumspection with which he dis- 
penses in our case. 

What we pray for is, that it may please you to pass a law 
ordering the shutting up of all windows, skylights, dormer win- 
dows, outside and inside shutters, curtains, blinds, bull's-eyes; in 
a word, of all openings, holes, chinks, clefts, and fissures, by or 
through which the light of the sun has been in use to enter 
houses, to the prejudice of the meritorious manufactures with 
which we flatter ourselves we have accommodated our country, — 
a country which, in gratitude, ought not to abandon us now to a 
strife so unequal. 



PRfiDfiRIC BASTIAT 1611 

We trust, gentlemen, that you will not regard this our re- 
quest as a satire, or refuse it without at least previously hearing 
the reasons which we have to urge in its support. 

And first, if you shut up as much as possible all access to 
natural light, and create a demand for artificial light, which of 
our French manufactures will not be encouraged by it ? 

If more tallow is consumed, then there must be more oxen 
and sheep; and consequently, we shall behold the multiplication 
of artificial meadows, meat, wool, hides, and above all manure, 
which is the basis and foundation of all agricultural wealth. 

If more oil is consumed, then we shall have an extended 
cultivation of the poppy, of the olive, and of rape. These rich 
and exhausting plants will come at the right time to enable us 
to avail ourselves of the increased fertility which the rearing of 
additional cattle will impart to our lands. 

Our heaths will be covered with resinous trees. Numerous 
swarms of bees will, on the mountains, gather perfumed treas- 
ures, now wasting their fragrance on the desert air, like the 
flowers from which they emanate. No branch of agriculture but 
will then exhibit a cheering development. 

The same remark applies to navigation. Thousands of vessels 
will proceed to the whale fishery; and in a short time we shall 
possess a navy capable of maintaining the honor of France, and 
gratifying the patriotic aspirations of your petitioners, the under- 
signed candle-makers and others. 

But what shall we say of the manufacture of articles de 
Paris? Henceforth you will behold gildings, bronzes, crystals, 
in candlesticks, in lamps, in lustres, in candelabra, shining forth 
in spacious warerooms, compared with which those of the pres- 
ent day can be regarded but as mere shops. 

No poor r^sinier from his heights on the sea-coast, no coal- 
miner from the depth of his sable gallery, but will rejoice in 
higher wages and increased prosperity. 

Only have the goodness to reflect, gentlemen, and you will 
be convinced that there is perhaps no Frenchman, from the 
wealthy coal-master to the humblest vender of lucifer matches, 
whose lot will not be ameliorated by the success of this our 
petition. 

Vfe foresee your objections, gentlemen, but we know that you 
can oppose to us none but such as you have picked up from the 
eflEete works of the partisans of Free Trade. We defy you to 



l6l2 



FREDERIC BASTIAT 



Utter a single word against us which will not instantly rebound 
against yourselves and your entire policy. 

You will tell us that if we gain by the protection which we 
seek, the country will lose by it, because the consumer must 
bear the loss. 

We answer: — 

You have ceased to have any right to invoke the interest of 
the consumer; for whenever his interest is found opposed to that 
of the producer, you sacrifice the former. You have done so for 
the purpose of encouraging labor and increasing employment. For 
the same reason you should do so again. 

You have yourself refuted this objection. When you are told 
that the consumer is interested in the free importation of iron, 
coal, corn, textile fabrics — yes, you reply, but the producer is 
interested in their exclusion. Well, be it so; — if consumers are 
interested in the free admission of natural hght, the producers 
of artificial light are equally interested in its prohibition. 

But again, you may say that the producer and consumer are 
identical. If the manufacturer gain by protection, he will make 
the agriculturist also a gainer; and if agriculture prosper, it will 
open a vent to manufactures. Very well: if you confer upon us 
the monopoly of furnishing light during the day,— first of all, 
we shall purchase quantities of tallow, coals, oils, resinous sub- 
stances, wax, alcohol — besides silver, iron, bronze, crystal — to 
carry on our manufactures; and then we, and those who furnish 
us with such commodities, having become rich, will consume a 
great deal, and impart prosperity to all the other branches of 
our national industry. 

If you urge that the light of the sun is a gratuitous gift of 
nature, and that to reject such gifts is to reject wealth itself 
under pretense of encouraging the means of acquiring it, we 
would caution you against giving a death-blow to your own 
poHcy. Remember that hitherto you have always repelled for- 
eign products, because they approximate more nearly than home 
products to the character of gratuitous gifts. To comply with the 
exactions of other monopolists, you have only half a motive; and 
to repulse us simply because we stand on a stronger vantage- 
ground than others would be to adopt the equation, +x+ = — I in 
other words, it would be to heap absurdity upon absurdity. 

Nature and human labor co-operate in various proportions 
(depending on countries and climates) in the production of com- 



FREDERIC BASTIAT 



1613 



modities. The part which nature executes is always gratuitous; 
it is the part executed by human labor which constitutes value, 
and is paid for. 

If a Lisbon orange sells for half the price of a Paris orange, 
it is because natural and consequently gratuitous heat does for 
the one what artificial and therefore expensive heat must do for 
the other. 

When an orange comes to us from Portugal, we may conclude 
that it is furnished in part gratuitously, in part for an onerous 
consideration; in other words, it comes to us at half-price as 
compared with those of Paris. 

Now, it is precisely the gratuitous half (pardon the word) 
which we contend should be excluded. You say. How can nat- 
ural labor sustain competition with foreign labor, when the 
former has all the work to do, and the latter only does one-half, 
the sun supplying the remainder ? But if this half, being gratu- 
itous, determines you to exclude competition, how should the 
whole, being gratuitous, induce you to admit competition ? If 
you were consistent, you would, while excluding as hurtful to 
native industry what is half gratuitous, exclude a fortiori and 
with double zeal that which is altogether gratuitous. 

Once more, when products such as coal, iron, corn, or textile 
fabrics are sent us from abroad, and we can acquire them with 
less labor than if we made them ourselves, the difference is a 
free gift conferred upon us. The gift is more or less considera- 
ble in proportion as the difference is more or less great. It 
amounts to a quarter, a half, or three-quarters of the value of 
the product, when the foreigner only asks us for three-fourths, 
a half, or a quarter of the price we should otherwise pay. It is 
as perfect and complete as it can be, when the donor (like the 
sun in furnishing us with light) asks us for nothing. The ques- 
tion, and we ask it formally, is this, Do you desire for our 
country the benefit of gratuitous consumption, or the pretended 
advantages of onerous production ? Make your choice, but be 
logical; for as long as you exclude, as you do, coal, iron, com, 
foreign fabrics, in proportion as their price approximates to zero, 
what inconsistency would it be to admit the light of the sun, the 
price of which is already at zero during the entire day! 



i6i4 



FREDERIC BASTIAT 



STULTA AND PUERA 



THERE were, no matter where, two towns called Fooltown and 
Babytown. They completed at great cost a highway from 
the one town to the other. When this was done, Fooltown said to 
herself, ** SeQ how Babytown inundates us with her products ; we 
must see to it." In consequence, they created and paid a body 
of obstructives, so called because their business was to place 
obstacles in the way of traffic coming from Babytown. Soon 
afterwards Babytown did the same. 

At the end of some centuries, knowledge having in the 
interim made great progress, the common sense of Babytown 
enabled her to see that such reciprocal obstacles could only be 
reciprocally hurtful. She therefore sent a diplomatist to Fool- 
town, who, laying aside official phraseology, spoke to this effect: 

** We have made a highway, and now we throw obstacles in 
the way of using it. This is absurd. It would have been better 
to have left things as they were. We should not, in that case, 
have had to pay for making the road in the first place, nor 
afterwards have incurred the expense of maintaining obstructives. 
In the name of Babytown, I come to propose to you, not to give 
up opposing each other all at once, — that would be to act upon 
a principle, and we despise principles as much as you do, — but 
to lessen somewhat the present obstacles, taking care to estimate 
equitably the respective sacrifices we make for this purpose.** 

So spoke the diplomatist. Fooltown asked for time to con- 
sider the proposal, and proceeded to consult in succession her 
manufacturers and agriculturists. At length, after the lapse of 
some years, she declared that the negotiations were broken off. 

On receiving this intimation, the inhabitants of Babytown 
held a meeting. An old gentleman (they always suspected he 
had been secretly bought by Fooltown) rose and said : '■ — ** The 
obstacles created by Fooltown injure our sales, which is a mis- 
fortune. Those which we have ourselves created injure our pur- 
chases, which is another misfortune. With reference to the first, 
we are powerless; but the second rests with ourselves. Let us 
at least get quit of one, since we cannot rid ourselves of both 
evils. Let us suppress our obstructives without requiring Fool- 
town to do the same. Some day, no doubt, she will come to 
know her own interests better." 



FRfiDfiRIC BASTIAT 



1615 



A second counselor, a practical, matter-of-fact man, guiltless 
of any acquaintance with principles, and brought up in the ways 
of his forefathers, replied — 

" Don't listen to that Utopian dreamer, that theorist, that 
innovator, that economist; that Stultoinaniac. We shall all be 
undone if the stoppages of the road are not equalized, weighed, 
and balanced between Fooltown and Babytown. There would be 
greater difficulty in going than in coming, in exporting than in 
ivtportiyig. We should find ourselves in the same condition of 
inferiority relatively to Fooltown, as Havre, Nantes, Bordeaux, 
Lisbon, London, Hamburg, and New Orleans, are with relation 
to the towns situated at the sources of the Seine, the Loire, the 
Garonne, the Tagus, the Thames, the Elbe, and the Mississippi; 
for it is more difficult for a ship to ascend than to descend a 
river. \^A Voice — "Towns at the enibouclinres of rivers prosper 
more than towns at their source.'*] This is impossible. [Satne 
Voice — "But it is so."] Well, if it be so, they have prospered 
contrary to rules.'''* 

Reasoning so conclusive convinced the assembly, and the ora- 
tor followed up his victory by talking largely of national independ- 
ence, national honor, national dignity, national labor, inundation 
of products, tributes, murderous competition. In short, he carried 
the vote in favor of the maintenance of obstacles; and if you are 
at all curious on the subject, I can point out to you countries, 
where you will see with your own eyes Roadmakers and Obstruct- 
ives working together on the most friendly terms possible, under 
the orders of the same legislative assembly, and at the expense 
of the same taxpayers, the one set endeavoring to clear the road, 
and the other set doing their utmost to render it impassable. 



I3i6 FREDERIC BASTIAT 

INAPPLICABLE TERMS 
From < Economic Sophisms* 

LET US give up . . . the puerility of applying to industrial 
competition phrases applicable to war, — a way of speaking 
which is only specious when applied to competition between 
two rival trades. The moment we come to take into account 
the effect produced on the general prosperity, the analogy dis- 
appears. 

In a battle, every one who is killed diminishes by so much 
the strength of the army. In industry, a workshop is shut up 
only when what it produced is obtained by the public from 
another source and in greater abundance. Figure a state of 
things where for one man killed on the spot two should rise 
up full of life and vigor. Were such a state of things possible, 
war would no longer merit its name. 

This, however, is the distinctive character of what is so 
absurdly called industrial war. 

Let the Belgians and the English lower the price of their 
iron ever so much; let them, if they will, send it to us for 
nothing: this mjght extinguish some of our blast-furnaces; but 
immediately, and as a necessary consequence of this very cheap- 
ness, there would rise up a thousand other branches of industry 
more profitable than the one which had been superseded. 

We arrive, then, at the conclusion that domination by labor 
is impossible, and a contradiction in terms, seeing that all supe- 
riority which manifests itself among a people means cheapness, 
and tends only to impart force to all other nations. Let us 
banish, then, from political economy all terms borrowed from 
the military vocabulary: to fight with equal weapons^ to conquer, 
to crush, to stifle, to be beaten, invasion, tribute, etc. What do 
such phrases mean ? Squeeze them, and you obtain nothing. 
Yes, you do obtain something; for from such words 
proceed absurd errors, and fatal and pestilent prejudices. Such 
phrases tend to arrest the fusion of nations, are inimical to their 
peaceful, universal, and indissoluble alliance, and retard the pro- 
gress of the human race. 



i6i7 




CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 

(1821-1867) 

BY GRACE KING 

Charles Baudelaire was born in Paris in 1821; he died there 
in 1867. Between these dates lies the evolution of one of 
the most striking personalities in French literature, and 
the development of an influence which affected not only the litera- 
ture of the poet's own country, but that of all Europe and America. 
The genuineness of both personality and influence was one of the 
first critical issues raised after Baudelaire's advent into literature; 
it is still one of the main issues in all critical consideration of 
him. A question which involves by impli- 
cation the whole relation of poetry, and of 
art as such, to life, is obviously one that 
furnishes more than literary issues, and 
engages other than literary interests. And 
thus, by easy and natural corollaries, Bau- 
delaire has been made a subject of appeal 
not only to judgment, but even to con- 
science. At first sight, therefore, he ap- 
pears surrounded either by an intricate 
moral maze, or by a no less troublesome 
confusion of contradictory theories from 
opposing camps rather than schools of criti- 
cism. But no author — no dead author — is 
more accessible, or more communicable in his way; his poems, his 
theories, and a goodly portion of his life, lie at the disposition of any 
reader who cares to know him. 

The Baudelaire legend, as it is called by French critics, is one of 
the blooms of that romantic period of French literature which is 
presided over by the genius of Theophile Gautier. Indeed, it is 
against the golden background of Gautier's imagination that the pict- 
ure of the youthful poet is best preserved for us, appearing in all 
the delicate and illusive radiance of the youth and beauty of legend- 
ary saints on the gilded canvases of mediaeval art. The radiant 
youth and beauty may be no more truthful to nature than the gilded 
background, but the fact of the impression sought to be conveyed is 
not on that account to be disbelieved. 

Baudelaire, Gautier writes, was born in the Rue Hautefeuille, in 
one of those old houses with a pepper-pot turret at the corner which 
in — 102 




Charles Baudelaire 



l6l8 CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 

have disappeared from the city under the advancing improvement of 
straight lines and clear openings. His father, a gentleman of learn- 
ing, retained all the eighteenth-century courtesy and distinction of 
manner, which, like the pepper-pot turret, has also disappeared under 
the advance of Republican enlightenment. An absent-minded, re- 
served child, Baudelaire attracted no especial attention during his 
school days. When they were over, his predilection for a literary 
vocation became known. From this his parents sought to divert him 
by sending him to travel. He voyaged through the Indian Ocean, 
visiting the great islands: Madagascar, Ceylon, Mauritius, Bourbon. 
Had there been a chance for irresolution in the mind of the youth, 
this voyage destroyed it forever. His imagination, essentially exotic, 
succumbed to the passionate charm of a new, strange, and splendidly 
glowing form of nature; the stars, the skies, the gigantic vegetation, 
the color, the perfumes, the dark-skinned figures in white draperies, 
formed for him at that time a heaven, for which his senses unceas* 
ingly yearned afterwards amid the charms and enchantments of civ- 
ilization, in the world's capital of pleasure and luxury. Returning to 
Paris, of age and master of his fortune, he established himself in his 
independence, openly adopting his chosen career. 

He and Theophile Gautier met for the first time in 1849, in the 
Hotel Pimodau, where were held the meetings of the Hashish Club. 
Here in the great Louis XIV. saloon, with its wood-work relieved 
with dull gold; its corbeled ceiling, painted after the manner of 
Lesueur and Poussin, with satyrs pursuing nymphs through reeds and 
foliage; its great red and white spotted marble mantel, with gilded 
elephant harnessed like the elephant of Porus in Lebrun's picture, 
bearing an enameled clock with blue ciphers; its antique chairs and 
sofas, covered with faded tapestry representing hunting scenes, hold- 
ing the reclining figures of the members of the club; women cele- 
brated in the world of beauty, men in the world of letters, meeting 
not only for the enjoyment of the artificial ecstasies of the drug, but 
to talk of art, literature, and love, as in the days of the Decameron — 
here Baudelaire made what might be called his historic impression 
upon literature. He was at that time twenty-eight years of age; and 
even in that assemblage, in those surroundings, his personality was 
striking. His black hair, worn close to the head, grew in regular 
scallops over a forehead of dazzling whiteness; his eyes, the color of 
Spanish tobacco, were spiritual, deep, penetrating, perhaps too insist- 
ently so, in expression; the mobile sinuous mouth had the ironical 
voluptuous lips that Leonardo da Vinci loved to paint; the nose was 
delicate and sensitive, with quivering nostrils; a deep dimple accent- 
uated the chin; the bluish-black tint of the shaven skin, softened 
with rice-powder, contrasted with the clear rose and white of the 



CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 



1619 



upper part of his cheeks. Always dressed with meticuloiis neatness 
and simplicity, following English rather than French taste; in man- 
ner punctiliously observant of the strictest conventionality, scrupu- 
lously, even excessively polite; in talk measuring his phrases, using 
only the most select terms, and pronouncing certain words as if the 
sound itself possessed a certain subtle, mystical value, — throwing 
his voice into capitals and italics; — in contrast with the dress and 
manners about him, he, according to Gautier, looked like a dandy 
who had strayed into Bohemia. 

The contrast was no less violent between Baudelaire's form and 
the substance of his conversation. With a simple, natural, and per- 
fectly impartial manner, as if he were conveying commonplace 
information about every-day life, he would advance some axiom 
monstrously Satanic, or sustain, with the utmost grace and coolness, 
some mathematical extravagance in the way of a theory. And no 
one could so inflexibly push a paradox to the uttermost limits, 
regardless of consequences to received notions of morality or reli- 
gion; always employing the most rigorous methods of logic and 
reason. His wit was found to lie neither in words nor thoughts, but 
in the peculiar standpoint from which he regarded things, a stand- 
point which altered their outlines, — like those of objects looked down 
upon from a bird's flight, or looked up to on a ceiling. In this way, 
to continue the exposition of Gautier, Baudelaire saw relations inap- 
preciable to others, whose logical bizarrerie was startling. 

His flrst productions were critical articles for the Parisian journals; 
articles that at the time passed unperceived, but which to-day 
furnish perhaps the best evidences of that keen artistic insight and 
foresight of the poet, which was at once his greatest good and evil 
genius. In 1856 appeared his translation of the works of Edgar Allan 
Poe; a translation which may be said to have naturalized Poe in 
French literature, where he has played a role curiously like that of 
Baudelaire in Poe's native literature. The natural predisposition of 
Baudelaire, which fitted him to be the French interpreter of Poe, 
rendered him also peculiarly sensitive to Poe's mysteriously subtle 
yet rankly vigorous charms; and he showed himself as sensitively 
responsive to these as he had been to the exotic charms of the East. 
The influence upon his intellectual development was decisive and 
final. His indebtedness to Poe, or it might better be said, his iden- 
tification with Poe, is visible not only in his paradoxical manias, but 
in his poetry, and in his theories of art and poetry set forth in his 
various essays and fugitive prose expressions, and notably in his 
introduction to his translations of the American author's works. 

In 1857 appeared the ^Fleurs du MaP (Flowers of Evil), the vol- 
ume of poems upon which Baudelaire's fame as a poet is founded. 



l620 CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 

It was the result of his thirty years' devotion to the study of his art 
and meditation upon it. Six of the poems were suppressed by the 
censor of the Second Empire. This action called out, in form of 
protest, that fine appreciation and defense of Baudelaire's genius and 
best defense of his methods, by four of the foremost critics and 
keenest artists in poetry of Paris, which form, with the letters from 
Sainte-Beuve, de Custine, and Deschamps, a precious appendix to the 
third edition of the poems. 

The name * Flowers of Evil * is a sufficient indication of the inten- 
tions and aim of the author. Their companions in the volume are-. 
'Spleen and Ideal,' 'Parisian Pictures,* <Wine,> 'Revolt,* 'Death.* 
The simplest description of them is that they are indescribable. 
They must not only be read, they must be studied repeatedly to be 
understood as they deserve. The paradox of their most exquisite art, 
and their at times most revolting revelations of the degradations and 
perversities of humanity, can be accepted with full appreciation of 
the author's meaning only by granting the same paradox to his 
genuine nature; by crediting him with being not only an ardent 
idealist of art for art's sake, but an idealist of humanity for human- 
ity's sake; one to whom humanity, even in its lowest degradations 
and vilest perversions, is sublimely sacred; — one to whom life offered 
but one tragedy, that of human souls flying like Cain from a guilt- 
stricken paradise, but pursued by the remorse of innocence, and 
scourged by the consciousness of their own infinitude. 

But the poet's own words are the best explanation of his aim and 
intention: — 

" Poetry, though one delve ever so little into his own self, interrogate his 
own soul, recall his memories of enthusiasms, has no other end than itself; it 
cannot have any other aim, and no poem will be so great, so noble, so truly 
worthy of the name of poem, as that which shall have been written solely for 
the pleasure of waiting a poem. I do not wish to .say that p(x;try should not 
ennoble manners — that its final result should not be to raise man ab.)ve vul- 
gar interests. That would be an evident absurdity. I say that if the poet 
has pursued a moral end, he has diminished his poetic force, and it would 
not be imprudent to wager that his work would be bad. Poetry cannot, 
under penalty of death or forfeiture, assimilate itself to science or morality. 
It has not Truth for object, it has only itself. Truth's modes of demonstra- 
tion are different and elsewhere. Truth has nothing to do with ballads; all 
that constitutes the charm, the irresistible grace of a ballad, would strip 
Truth of its authority and power. Cold, calm, impa.ssive, the demon.strative 
temjjerament rejects the diamonds and flowers of the mu-se; it is, therefore, the 
absolute inverse of the poetic temp)erament. Pure Intellect aims at Truth, 
Taste shows us Beauty, and the Moral Sense teaches us Duty. It is true 
that the middle term has intimate connection with the two extremes, and 
only separates itself from Moral Sense by a difference so slight that Aristotle 



CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 1621 

did not hesitate to class some of its delicate operations amongst the virtues. 
And accordingly what, above all, exasperates the man of taste is the spectacle 
of vice, is its deformity, its disproportions. Vice threatens the just and true 
and revolts intellect and conscience; but as an outrage upon harmony, as dis- 
sonance, it would particularly wound certain poetic minds, and I do not think 
it would be scandal to consider all infractions of moral beauty as a species of 
sin against rhythm and universal prosody. 

«It is this admirable, this immortal instinct of the Beautiful which makes 
us con.sider the earth and its spectacle as a sketch, as a correspondent of 
Heaven. The insatiable thirst for all that is beyond that which life veils is 
the most living proof of our immortality. It is at once by poetry and across 
it, across and through music, that the soul gets a glimpse of the splendors 
that lie beyond the tomb. And when an exquisite poem causes tears to rise 
in the eye, these tears are not the proof of excessive enjoyment, but rather 
the testimony of a moved melancholy, of a postulation of the nerves, of a 
nature exiled in the imperfect, which wishes to take immediate possession, 
even on earth, of a revealed paradise. 

« Thus the principle of poetry is strictly and simply human aspiration 
toward superior beauty; and the manifestation of this principle is enthusi- 
asm and uplifting of the soul, — enthusiasm entirely independent of passion, — 
which is the intoxication of heart, and of truth which is the food of reason. 
For passion is a natural thing, even too natural not to introduce a wounding, 
discordant tone into the domain of pure beauty; too familiar, too violent, not 
to shock the pure Desires, the gracious Melancholies, and the noble Despairs 
which inhabit the supernatural regions of poetrj'." 

Baudelaire saw himself as the poet of a decadent epoch, an epoch 
in which art had arrived at the over-ripened maturity of an aging 
civilization; a glowing, savorous, fragrant over-ripeness, that is 
already softening into decomx30sition. And to be the fitting poet of 
such an epoch, he modeled his style on that of the poets of the 
Latin decadence ; for, as he expressed it for himself and for the 
modern school of " decadents '* in French poetry founded upon his 
name : — 

"Does it not seem to the reader, as to me, that the language of the last 
Latin decadence — that supreme sigh of a robust person already transformed 
and prepared for spiritual life — is singularly fitted to express passion as it is 
understood and felt by the modem world ? Mysticism is the other end of the 
magpaet of which Catullus and his band, brutal and purely epidermic poets, 
knew only the sensual pole. In this wonderful language, solecisms and bar- 
barisms seem to express the forced carelessness of a passion which forgets 
itself, and mocks at rules. The words, used in a novel sense, reveal the 
charming awkwardness of a barbarian from the North, kneeling before Roman 
Beauty. » 

Nature, the nature of Wordsworth and Tennyson, did not exist for 
Battdelaire; inspiration he denied; simplicity he scouted as an an- 
achronism in a decadent period of perfected art, whose last word in 



1 62 2 CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 

poetry should be the apotheosis of the Artificial. "A little charlatan- 
ism is permitted even to genius,* he wrote: "it is like fard on the 
cheeks of a naturally beautiful woman; an appetizer for the mind." 
Again he expresses himself: — 

« It seems to me, two women are presented to me, one a rustic matron, 
repulsive in health and virtue, without manners, without expression ; in short, 
owing nothing except to simple nature ; — the other, one of those beauties that 
dominate and oppress memory, uniting to her original and unfathomable 
charms all the eloquence of dress; who is mistress of her part, conscious of 
and queen of herself, speaking like an instrument well tuned; with looks 
freighted with thought, yet letting flow only what she would. My choice 
would not be doubtful ; and yet there are pedagogic sphinxes who would 
reproach me as recreant to classical honor. » 

In music it was the same choice. He saw the consummate art 
and artificiality of Wagner, and preferred it to all other music, at a 
time when the German master was ignored and despised by a classic- 
ized musical world. In perfumes it was not the simple fragrance of 
the rose or violet that he loved, but musk and amber; and he said, 
*my soul hovers over perfumes as the souls of other men hover 
over music." 

Besides his essays and sketches, Baudelaire published in prose a 
novelette; 'Fanfarlo,* 'Artificial Paradises,* opium and hashish, imi- 
tations of De Quincey's * Confessions of an Opium Eater ' ; and * Little 
Prose Poems, ' also inspired by a book, the * Gaspard de la Nuit * of 
Aloysius Bertrand, and which Baudelaire thus describes: — 

«The idea came to me to attempt something analogous, and to apply to 
the description of modem life, or rather a modem and more abstract life, the 
methods he had applied to the painting of ancient life, so strangely pictur- 
esque. Which one of us in his ambitious days has not dreamed of a miracle 
of poetic prose, musical, without rhythm and without rhyme, supple enough 
and rugged enough to adapt itself to the lyrical movements of the soul, to 
the undulations of reverie, and to the assaults of conscience?" 

Failing health induced Baudelaire to quit Paris and establish 
himself in Brussels; but he received no benefit from the change of 
climate, and the first symptoms of his terrible malady manifested 
themselves — a slowness of speech, and hesitation over words. As a 
slow and sententious enunciation was characteristic of him, the 
symptoms attracted no attention, until he fell under a sudden and 
violent attack. He was brought back to Paris and conveyed to a 
"maison de sante," where he died, after lingering several months in 
a paralyzed condition, motionless, speechless; nothing alive in him 
but thought, seeking to express itself through his eyes. 

The nature of Baudelaire's malady and death was, by the public 
at large, accepted as confirmation of the suspicion that he was in the 



CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 



1623 



habit of seeking his inspiration in the excitation of hashish and 
opium. His friends, however, recall the fact of his incessant work, 
and intense striving after his ideal in art; his fatigue of body and 
mind, and his increasing weariness of spirit under the accumulating 
worries and griefs of a life for which his very genius unfitted him. 
He was also known to be sober in his tastes, as all great workers 
are. That he had lent himself more than once to the physiological 
and psychological experiment of hashish was admitted; but he was a 
rare visitor at the seances in the saloon of the Hotel Pimodau, and 
came as a simple observer of others. His masterly description of 
the hallucinations produced by hashish is accompanied by analytical 
and moral commentaries which unmistakably express repugnance to 
and condemnation of the drug: — 

« Admitting for the moment," he writes, "the hypothesis of a constitution 
tempered enough and strong enough to resist the evil effects of the perfidious 
drug, another, a fatal and terrible danger, must be thought of, — that of habit. 
He who has recourse to a poison to enable him to think, will soon not be 
able to think without the poison. Imagine the horrible fate of a man whose 
paralyzed imagination is unable to work without the aid of hashish or opium. 
But man is not so deprived of honest means of gaining heaven, 
that he is obliged to invoke the aid of pharmacy or witchcraft; he need not 
sell his soul in order to pay for the intoxicating caresses and the love of 
houris. What is a paradise that one purchases at the expense of one's own 
soul ? . . . Unfortunate wretches who have neither fasted nor prayed, and 
who have refused the redemption of labor, ask from black mag^c the means 
to elevate themselves at a single stroke to a supernatural existence. Maggie 
dupes them, and lights for them a false happiness and a false light; while we, 
poets and philosophers, who have regenerated ovu souls by incessant work and 
contemplation, by the assiduous exercise of the will and permanent nobility of 
intention, we have created for our use a garden of true beauty. Confiding 
in the words that < faith will remove mountains,* we have accomplished the 
one miracle for which God has given us license. » 

The perfect art-form of Baudelaire's poems makes translation of 
them indeed a literal impossibility. The 'Little Old Women, > <The 
Voyage,' * The Voyage to Cytherea,> <A Red-haired Beggar-girl, > 
'The Seven Old Men,' and sonnet after sonnet in 'Spleen and Ideal,* 
seem to rise only more and more ineffable from every attempt to 
filter them through another language, or through another mind than 
that of their original, and, it would seem, one possible creator. 




^^ '^/UyOC^^- 



1624 



CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 



MEDITATION 



B 



E PITIFUL, my sorrow — be thou still: 

For night thy thirst was — lo, it falleth down, 

Slowly darkening it veils the town, 
Bringing its peace to some, to some its ill. 



While the dull herd in its mad career 
Under the pitiless scourge, the lash of unclean desire, 
Goes culling remorse with fingers that never tire : — 
My sorrow, — thy hand! Come, sit thou by me here. 

Here, far from them all. From heaven's high balconies 
See ! in their threadbare robes the dead years cast their eyes : 
And from the depths below regret's wan smiles appear. 

The sun, about to set, under the arch sinks low. 
Trailing its weltering pall far through the East aglow. 
Hark, dear one, hark! Sweet night's approach is near. 

Translated for the < Library of the World's Best Literature.' 



T 



THE DEATH OF THE POOR 

^His is death the consoler — death that bids live again; 
Here life its aim: here is our hope to be found, 
Making, like magic elixir, our poor weak heads to swim round, 
And giving us heart for the struggle till night makes end of the 
pain. 

Athwart the hurricane — athwart the snow and the sleet. 
Afar there twinkles over the black earth's waste. 
The light of the Scriptural inn where the weary and the faint may 
taste 
The sweets of welcome, the plenteous feast and the secure retreat. 

It is an angel, in whose soothing palms 
Are held the boon of sleep and dreamy balms, 
Who makes a bed for poor unclothed men, 
It is the pride of the gods — the all-mysterious room, 
The pauper's purse — this fatherland of gloom. 

The open gate to heaven, and heavens beyond our ken. 

Translated for the < Library of the World's Best Literature,* 



CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 1625 



MUSIC 

SWEET music sweeps me like the sea 
Toward my pale star, 
Whether the clouds be there or all the air be free 
I sail afar. 
With front outspread and swelling breasts, 

On swifter sail 
I bound through the steep waves' foamy crests 
Under night's veil. 
Vibrate within me I feel all the passions that lash 

A bark in distress: 
By the blast I am lulled — by the tempest's wild crash 
On the salt wilderness. 
Then comes the dead calm — mirrored there 
I behold my despair. 

Translated for the < Library of the World's Best Literature.> 



THE BROKEN BELL 



B 



ITTER and sweet, when wintry evenings fall 

Across the quivering, smoking hearth, to hear 
Old memory's notes sway softly far and near. 

While ring the chimes across the gray fog's pall. 



Thrice blessed bell, that, to time insolent, 

Still calls afar its old and pious song, 

Responding faithfully in accents strong, 
Like some old sentinel before his tent. 

I too — my soul is shattered; — when at times 
It would beguile the wintry nights with rhymes 

Of old, its weak old voice at moments seems 
Like gasps some poor, forgotten soldier heaves 
Beside the blood-pools — 'neath the human sheaves 

Gasping in anguish toward their fixed dreams. 

Translated for the <Librarj' of the World's Best Literature.'' 



1626 CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 



The two poems following are used by permission of the J. B. Lippincott 

Company 



M 



THE ENEMY 

Y YOUTH swept by in storm and cloudy gloom, 
Lit here and there by glimpses of the sun; 
But in my garden, now the storm is done, " 

Few fruits are left to gather purple bloom. 



Here have I touched the autumn of the mind; 

And now the careful spade to labor comes, 
Smoothing the earth torn by the waves and wind. 

Full of great holes, like open mouths of tombs. 

And who knows if the flowers whereof I dream 
Shall find, beneath this soil washed like the stream, 
The force that bids them into beauty start ? 

O grief! O grief! Time eats our life away, 
And the dark Enemy that gnaws our heart 

Grows with the ebbing life-blood of his prey! 

Translation of Miss Katharine Hillard. 



B 



BEAUTY 

EAUTiFUL am I as a dream in stone; 

And for my breast, where each falls bruised in turn, 
The poet with an endless love must yearn — 

Endless as Matter, silent and alone. 



A sphinx unguessed, enthroned in azure skies. 
White as the swan, my heart is cold as snow; 
No hated motion breaks my lines' pure flow. 

Nor tears nor laughter ever dim mine eyes. 

Poets, before the attitudes sublime 

I seem to steal from proudest monuments. 

In austere studies waste the ling'ring time; 
For I possess, to charm my lover's sight. 
Mirrors wherein all things are fair and bright — 
My eyes, my large eyes of eternal light ! 

Translation of Miss Katharine Hillard. 



CHARLES BAUDELAIRE jfiaj 



DEATH 



H 



o, Death, Boatman Death, it is time we set sail; 
Up anchor, away from this region of blight: 
Though ocean and sky are like ink for the gale, 

Thou knowest our hearts are consoled with the light. 



Thy poison pour out — it will comfort us well; 

Yea — for the fire that burns in our brain 
We would plunge through the depth, be it heaven or hell, 

Through the fathomless gulf — the new vision to gain. 

Translated for the < Library of the World's Best Literature.> 



THE PAINTER OF MODERN LIFE 
From <L'Art Romantique> 

THE crowd is his domain, as the air is that of the bird and 
the water that of the fish. His passion and his profession 
is "to wed the crowd." For the perfect flaneur, for the 
passionate observer, it is an immense pleasure to choose his 
home in number, change, motion, in the fleeting and the infinite. 
To be away from one's home and yet to be always at home; to 
be in the midst of the world, to see it, and yet to be hidden 
from it; such are some of the least pleasures of these independ- 
ent, passionate, impartial minds which language can but awk- 
wardly define. The observer is a prince who everj^where enjoys 
his incognito. The amateur of life makes the world his family, 
as the lover of the fair sex makes his family of all beauties, 
discovered, discoverable, and indiscoverable, as the lover of paint- 
ing lives in an enchanted dreamland painted on canvas. Thus 
the man who is in love with all life goes into a crowd as into 
an immense electric battery. One might also compare him to a 
mirror as immense as the crowd; to a conscious kaleidoscope 
which in each movement represents the multiform life and the 
moving grace of all life's elements. He is an ego insatiably 
hungry for the non-ego, every moment rendering it and express- 
ing it in images more vital than life itself, which is always 

unstable and fugitive. "Any man,** said Mr. G one day, in 

one of those conversations which he lights up with intense look 
and vivid gesture, "any man, not overcome by a sorrow so 



J 628 CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 

heavy that it absorbs all the faculties, who is bored in the midst 
of a crowd is a fool, a fool, and I despise him." 

When Mr. G awakens and sees the blustering sun attack- 
ing the window-panes, he says with remorse, with regret: — 
"What imperial order! What a trumpet flourish of light! For 
hours already there has been light everywhere, light lost by my 
sleep! How many lighted objects I might have seen and have 
not seen ! " And then he starts off, he watches in its flow the 
river of vitality, so majestic and so brilliant. He admires the 
eternal beauty and the astonishing harmony of life in great 
cities, a harmony maintained in so providential a way in the 
tvimult of human liberty. He contemplates the landscapes of the 
great city, landscapes of stone caressed by the mist or struck by 
the blows of the sun. He enjoys the fine carriages, the fiery 
horses, the shining neatness of the grooms, the dexterity of the 
valeis, the walk of the gliding women, of the beautiful children, 
happy that they are alive and dressed; in a word, he enjoys the 
universal life. H a fashion, the cut of a piece of clothing has 
been slightly changed, if bunches of ribbon or buckles have been 
displaced by cockades, if the bonnet is larger and the back hair 
a notch lower on the neck, if the waist is higher and the skirt 
fuller, be sure that his eagle eye will see it at an enormous 
distance. A regiment passes, going perhaps to the end of the 
earth, throwing into the air of the boulevards the flourish of 

trumpets compelling and light as hope; the eye of Mr. G 

has already seen, studied, analyzed the arms, the gait, the physi- 
ognomy of the troop. Trappings, scintillations, music, firm looks, 
heavy and serious mustaches, all enters pell-mell into him, and 
in a few moments the resulting poem will be virtually composed. 
His soul is alive with the soul of this regiment which is march- 
ing like a single animal, the proud image of joy in obedience! 

But evening has come. It is the strange, uncertain hour at 
which the curtains of the sky are drawn and the cities are lighted. 
The gas throws spots on the purple of the sunset. Honest or 
dishonest, sane or mad, men say to themselves, "At last the day 
is at an end ! " The wise and the good-for-nothing think of 
pleasure, and each hurries to the place of his choice to drink the 

cup of pleasure. Mr. G will be the last to leave any place 

where the light may blaze, where poetry may throb, where life 
may tingle, where music may vibrate, where a passion may strike 
an attitude for his eye, where the man of nature and the man 



CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 1629 

of convention show themselves in a strange light, where the sun 
lights up the rapid joys of fallen creatures! «A day well spent," 
says a kind of reader whom we all know, "any one of us has 
genius enough to spend a day that way." No! Few men are 
gifted with the power to see; still fewer have the power of 
expression. Now, at the hour when others are asleep, this man 
is bent over his table, darting on his paper the same look which 
a short time ago he was casting on the world, battling with his 
pencil, his pen, his brush, throwing the water out of his glass 
against the ceiling, wiping his pen on his shirt, — driven, violent, 
active, as if he fears that his images will escape him, a quarreler 
although alone, — a cudgeler of himself. And the things he has 
seen are born again upon the paper, natural and more than nat- 
ural, beautiful and more than beautiful, singular and endowed 
with an enthusiastic life like the soul of the author. The phan- 
tasmagoria have been distilled from nature. All the materials 
with which his memory is crowded become classified, orderly, 
harmonious, and undergo that compulsory idealization w^hich is 
the result of a childlike perception, that is to say, of a percep- 
tion that is keen, magical by force of ingenuousness. 



MODERNNESS 

THUS he goes, he runs, he seeks. What does he seek? Cer- 
tainly this man, such as I have portrayed him, this soli- 
tary', gifted with an active imagination, always traveling 
through the great desert of mankind, has a higher end than that 
of a mere observer, an end more general than the fugitive pleas- 
ure of the passing event. He seeks this thing which we may 
call modemness, for no better word to express the idea pre- 
sents itself. His object is to detach from fashion whatever it 
may contain of the poetry in history, to draw the eternal from 
the transitory. If we glance at the exhibitions of modern pic- 
tures, we are struck with the general tendency of the artists to 
dress all their subjects in ancient costumes. That is obviously 
the sign of great laziness, for it is much easier to declare that 
everything in the costume of a certain period is ugly than to 
undertake the work of extracting from it the mysterious beauty 
which -may be contained in it, however slight or light it may be. 
The modem is the transitory, the fleeting, the contingent, the 



1630 



CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 



half of art, whose other half is the unchanging' and the eternal. 
There was a modernness for every ancient painter; most of the 
beautiful portraits which remain to us from earUer times are 
dressed in the costumes of their times. They are perfectly har- 
monious, because the costumes, the hair, even the gesture, the 
look and the smile (every epoch has its look and its smile), form 
a whole that is entirely lifelike. You have no right to despise 
or neglect this transitory, fleeting element, of which the changes 
are so frequent. In suppressing it you fall by necessity into the 
void of an abstract and tmdefinable beauty, like that of the only 
woman before the fall. If instead of the costume of the epoch, 
which is a necessary element, you substitute another, you create 
an anomaly which can have no excuse unless it is a burlesque 
called for by the vogaie of the moment. Thus, the goddesses, 
the nymphs, the sultans of the eighteenth century are portraits 
morally accurate. 

FROM < LITTLE POEMS IN PROSE > 
Every One his Own Chimera 

UNDER a great gray sky, in a great powdery plain without 
roads, without grass, without a thistle, without a nettle, I 
met several men who were walking with heads bowed 
down. 

Each one bore upon his back an enormous Chimera, as heavy 
as a bag of flour or coal, or the accoutrements of a Roman sol- 
dier. 

But the monstrous beast was not an inert weight; on the con- 
trary, it enveloped and oppressed the man with its elastic and 
mighty muscles; it fastened with its two vast claws to the breast 
of the bearer, and its fabulous head surmounted the brow of the 
man, like one of those horrible helmets by which the ancient 
warriors hoped to increase the terror of the enemy. 

I questioned one of these men, and I asked him whither they 
were bound thiis. He answered that he knew not, neither he 
nor the others; but that evidently they were bound somewhere, 
since they were impelled by an irresistible desire to go forward. 

It is curious to note that not one of these travelers looked 
irritated at the ferocious beast suspended from his neck and 
glued against his back; it seemed as though he considered it as 



CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 1631 

making- part of himself. None of these weary and serious faces 
bore witness to any despair; under the sullen cupola of the sky, 
their feet plunging into the dust of a soil as desolate as that sky, 
they went their way with the resigned countenances of those who 
have condemned themselves to hope forever. 

The procession passed by me and sank into the horizon's atmo- 
sphere, where the rounded surface of the planet slips from the 
curiosity of human sight, and for a few moments I obstinately 
persisted in wishing to fathom the mystery; but soon an irre- 
sistible indifference fell upon me, and I felt more heavily 
oppressed by it than even they were by their crushing Chimeras. 



Humanity 

At the feet of a colossal Venus, one of those artificial fools, 
those voluntary buffoons whose duty was to make kings laugh 
when Remorse or Ennui possessed their souls, muffled in a glaring 
ridiculous costume, crowned with horns and bells, and crouched 
against the pedestal, raised his eyes full of tears toward the im- 
mortal goddess. And his eyes said : — "I am the least and the 
most solitary of human beings, deprived of love and of friendship, 
and therefore far below the most imperfect of the animals. Never- 
theless, I am made, even I, to feel and comprehend the immortal 
Beauty! Ah, goddess! have pity on my sorrow and my despair!" 
But the implacable Venus gazed into the distance, at I know not 
what, with her marble eyes. 

Windows 

He who looks from without throtigh an open window never 
sees as many things as he who looks at a closed window. There 
is no object more profound, more mysterious, more rich, more 
shadowy, more dazzling than a window lighted by a candle. 
What one can see in the sunlight is always less interesting than 
what takes place behind a blind. In that dark or luminous hole 
life lives, dreams, suffers. 

Over the sea of roofs I see a woman, mature, already wrinkled, 
always bent over something, never going out. From her clothes, 
her movement, from almost nothing, I have reconstructed the 
history of this woman, or rather her legend, and sometimes I tell 
it over to myself in tears. 



1632 



CHARLES BAUDELAIRE 



If it had been a poor old man I could have reconstmicted his 
story as easily. 

And I go to bed, proud of having lived and suffered in lives 
not my own. 

Perhaps you may say, " Are you sure that this story is the 
true one ? ** What difference does it inake what is the reality out- 
side of me, if it has helped me to live, to know who I am and 
what I am ? 

Drink 

One should be always drunk. That is all, the whole question. 
In order not to feel the horrible burden of Time, which is break- 
ing your shoulders and bearing you to earth, you must be drunk 
without cease. 

Bt:t drimk on what ? On wine, poetry, or virtue, as you 
choose. But get drunk. 

And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace, on the green grass 
of a moat, in the dull solitude of your chamber, you awake with 
your intoxication already lessened or gone, ask of the wind, the 
wave, the star, the clock, of everything that flies, sobs, rolls, sings, 
talks, what is the hour ? and the wind, the wave, the star, the 
bird, the clock will answer, " It is the hour to get drunk ! >* Not 
to be the martyred slave of Time, get drunk; get drunk unceas- 
ingly. Wine, poetry, or virtue, as you choose. 

FROM A JOURNAL 

I SWEAR to myself henceforth to adopt the following rules as the 
everlasting rules of my life. ... To pray every morning 
to God, the Foimtain of all strength and of all justice; to my 
father, to Mariette, and to Poe. To pray to them to give me 
necessary strength to accomplish all my tasks, and to grant my 
mother a life long enough to enjoy my reformation. To work 
all day, or at least as long as my strength lasts. To trust to 
God — that is to say, to Justice itself — for the success of my 
projects. To pray again every evening to God to ask Him for 
life and strength, for my mother and myself. To divide all my 
earnings into four parts — one for my daily expenses, one for my 
creditors, one for my friends, and one for my mother. To keep 
to principles of strict sobriety, and to banish all and every stim- 
ulant. 



i633 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 

(1804-1881) 

BY ISA CARRINGTON CABELL 

K^ExjAMiN Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, born in London, De- 
pt^l^ cember, 1804; died there April 19th, 1881. His paternal 

yj^si^ ancestors were of the house of Lara, and held high rank 
among Hebrew-Spanish nobles till the tribunal of Torquemada drove 
them from Spain to Venice. There, proud of their race and origin, 
they styled themselves "Sons of Israel," and became merchant 
princes. But the city's commerce failing, the grandfather of Benjamin 
Disraeli removed to London with a diminished but comfortable for- 
tune. His son, Isaac Disraeli, was a well- 
known literary man, and the author of 
<The Curiosities of Literature.* On ac- 
count of the political and social ostracism 
of the Jews in England, he had all his 
family baptized into the Church of Eng- 
land; but with Benjamin Disraeli espe- 
cially, Christianity was never more than 
Judaism developed. His belief and his 
affections were in his own race. 

Benjamin, like most Jewish youths, 
was educated in private schools, and at 
seventeen entered a solicitor's office. At 
twenty-two he published ' \'ivian Grey * 
(London, 1826), which readable and amus- 
ing take-off of London society gave him great and instantaneous noto- 
riety. Its minute descriptions of the great world, its caricatures of 
well-known social and political personages, its magnificent diction, 
— too magnificent to be taken quite seriously, — excited inquiry; and 
the great world was amazed to discover that the impertinent observer 
was not one of themselves, but a boy in a lawyer's office. To add 
to the audacity, he had conceived himself the hero of these diverting 
situations, and by his cleverness had outwitted age, beauty, rank, 
diplomacy itself. 

Statesmen, poets, fine ladies, were all genuinely amused; and the 
author bade fair to become a lion, when he fell ill, and was com- 
pelled to leave England for a year or more, which he spent in travel 
on the Continent and in Egypt, Nubia, and Palestine. His visit to 
HI — 103 




Lord Beaconsfield 



i634 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 



the birthplace of his race made an impression on him that lasted 
through his life and literature. It is embodied in his * Letters to His 
Sister' (London, 1843), and the autobiographical novel * Contarini 
Fleming* (1833), in which he turned his adventures into fervid 
English, at a guinea a volume. But although the spirit of poesy, in 
the form of a Childe Harold, stalks rampant through the romance, 
there is both feeling and fidelity to nature whenever he describes 
the Orient and its people. Then the bizarre, brilliant poseur forgets 
his role, and reveals his highest aspirations. 

When Disraeli returned to London he became the fashion. Every- 
body, from the prime minister to Count D'Orsay, had read his clever 
novels. The poets praised them, Lady Blessington invited him to 
dine, Sir Robert Peel was "most gracious.'* 

But literary success could never satisfy Disraeli's ambition: a seat 
in Parliament was at the end of his rainbow. He professed himself 
a radical, but he was a radical in his own sense of the term; and 
like his own Sidonia, half foreigner, half looker-on, he felt himself 
endowed with an insight only possible to an outsider, an observer 
without inherited prepossessions. 

Several contemporary sketches of Disraeli at this time have been 
preserved. His dress was purposed affectation ; it led the beholder 
to look for folly only : and when the brilliant flash came, it was the 
more startling as unexpected from such a figure. Lady Dufferin told 
Mr. Motley that when she met Disraeli at dinner, he wore a black- 
velvet coat lined with satin, purple trousers with a gold band running 
down the outside seam, a scarlet waistcoat, long lace ruffles falling 
down to the tips of his fingers, white gloves with several rings out- 
side, and long black ringlets rippling down his shoulders. She told 
him he had made a fool of himself by appearing in such a dress, but 
she did not guess why it had been adopted. Another contemporary 
says of him, ** When duly excited, his command of language was 
wonderful, his power of sarcasm unsurpassed.'* 

He was busy making speeches and writing political squibs for the 
next two years; for Parliament was before his eyes. «He knew," 
says Froude, " he had a devil of a tongue, and was unincumbered by 
the foolish form of vanity called modesty.** <Ixion in Heaven,* 'The 
Infernal Marriage,* and <Popanilla' were attempts to rival both 
Lucian and Swift on their own ground. It is doubtful, however, 
whether he would have risked writing 'Henrietta Temple* (1837) and 
*Venetia' (1837), two ardent love stories, had he not been in debt; 
for notoriety as a novelist is not always a recommendation to a con- 
stituency. 

In 'Henrietta* he found an opportunity to write the biography of 
a lover oppressed by duns. It is a most entertaining novel even to 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 1635 

a reader who does not read for a new light on the great statesman, 
and is remarkable as the beginning of what is now known as the 
* natural** manner; a revolt, his admirers tell us, from the stilted 
fashion of making love that then prevailed in novels. 

* Venetia > is founded on the characters of Byron and Shelley, and 
is amusing reading. The high-flown language incrusted with the 
gems of rhetoric excites our risibilities, but it is not safe to laugh at 
Disraeli; in his most diverting aspects he has a deep sense of humor, 
and he who would mock at him is apt to get a whip across the face 
at an unguarded moment. Mr. Disraeli laughs in his sleeve at many 
things, but first of all at the reader. 

He failed in his canvass for his seat at High Wycombe, but he 
turned his failure to good account, and established a reputation for 
pluck and influence. "A mighty independent personage," observed 
Charles Greville, and his famous quarrel with O'Connell did him so 
little harm that in 1837 he was returned for Maidstone. His first 
speech was a failure. The word had gone out that he was to be put 
down. At last, finding it useless to persist, he said he was not sur- 
prised at the reception he had experienced. He had begun several 
things many times and had succeeded at last. Then pausing, and 
looking indignantly across the house, he exclaimed in a loud and 
remarkable tone, "I will sit down now, but the time will come when 
you will hear me." 

He married the widow of his patron, Wyndham Lewis, in 1838. 
This put him in possession of a fortune, and gave him the power to 
continue his political career. His radicalism was a thing of the past. 
He had drifted from Conservatism, with Peel for a leader, to aristo- 
cratic socialism; and in 1844, 1845, and 1847 appeared the Trilogy, as 
he styled the novels *Coningsby,* 'Tancred,* and 'Sibyl.' Of the 
three, * Coningsby > will prove the most entertaining to the modem 
reader. The hero is a gentleman, and in this respect is an improve- 
ment on Vivian Grey, for his audacity is tempered by good breeding. 
The plot is slight, but the scenes are entertaining. The famous 
Sidonia, the Jew financier, is a favorite with the author, and betrays 
his affection and respect for race. Lord Monmouth, the wild peer, is 
a rival of the "Marquis of Steyne," and worthy of a place in 'Vanity 
Fair*; the political intriguers are photographed from life, the pictures 
of fashionable London tickle both the vanity and the fancy of the 
reader. 

* Sibyl * is too clearly a novel with a motive to give so much 
pleasure. It is a study of the contrasts between the lives of the very 
rich and the hopelessly poor, and an attempt to show the superior 
condition of the latter when the Catholic Church was all-powerful in 
England and the king an absolute monarch. 



1036 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 



• Tancred * was composed when Disraeli was under ** the illusion of 
a possibly regenerated aristocracy." He sends Tancred, the hero, the 
heir of a ducal house, to Palestine to find the inspiration to a true 
religious belief, and details his adventures with a power of sarcasm 
that is seldom equaled. In certain scenes in this novel the author 
rises from a mere mocker to a genuine satirist. Tancred's interview 
with the bishop, in which he takes that dignitary's religious tenets 
seriously ; that with Lady Constance, when she explains the ** Mystery 
of Chaos " and shows how " the stars are formed out of the cream ot 
the Milky Way, a sort of celestial cheese churned into light"; the 
vision of the angels on Mt. Sinai, and the celestial Sidonia who talks 
about the "Sublime and Solacing Doctrine of Theocratic Equality,'* — 
all these are passages where we wonder whether the author sneered 
or blushed when he wrote. Certainly what has since been known as 
the Disraelian irony stings as we turn each page. 

Meanwhile Disraeli had become a power in Parliament, and the 
bitter opponent of Peel, under whom Catholic emancipation, parlia- 
mentary reform, and the abrogation of the commercial system, had 
been carried without conditions and almost without mitigations. 

Disraeli's assaults on his leader delighted the Liberals; the coun- 
try members felt indignant satisfaction at the deserved chastisement 
of their betrayer. With malicious skill, Disraeli touched one after 
another the weak points in a character that was superficially vulner- 
able. Finally the point before the House became Peel's general 
c(mduct. He was beaten by an overwhelming majority, and to the 
hand that dethroned him descended the task of building up the ruins 
of the Conservative party. Disraeli's best friends felt this a welcome 
necessity. There is no example of a rise so sudden under such con- 
ditions. His politics were as much distrusted as his serious literary 
passages. But Disraeli was the single person equal to the task. For 
the next twenty-five years he led the Conservative opposition in the 
House of Commons, varied by short intervals of power. He was 
three times Chancellor of the Exchequer. 1853, 1858, and 1859; and 
on Lord Derby's retirement in 1868 he became Prime Minister. 

In 1870, having laid aside novel-writing for twenty years, he pub- 
lished <Lothair.* It is a politic(vreligious romance aimed at the 
Jesuits, the Fenians, and the Communists. It had an instantaneous 
success, for its author was the most conspicuous figure in Europe, but 
its popularity is also due to its own merits. We are all of us snobs 
after a fashion and love high society. The glory of entering the 
splendid portals of the real English dukes and duchesses seems to be 
ours when Disraeli throws open the magic door and ushers the 
reader in. The decorations do not seem tawdry, nor the tinsel other 
than real. We move with plea.surable excitement with Lothair 



LORD BBACOKSFIELl) 



1637 



from palace to castle, and thence to battle-field and scenes of dark 
intri^rue. The hint of the love affair with the Olympian Theodora 
appeals to our romance: the circumventin;; of the wily Cardinal and 
his accomplices is agreeable to the Anglo-Saxon Protestant mind; 
their discomfitnre, and the crowning of virtue in the shape of a res- 
cued Lothair married to the English Duke's daughter with the fixed 
Church of England views, is what the reader expects and prays for, 
and is the last privilege of the real story-teller. That the author has 
thrown aside his proclivities for Romanism as he showed them in 
* Sibyl.* no more disturbs us than the eccentricities of his politics. 
We do not quite give him our faith when he is most in earnest, 
talking Semitic Arianism on Mt. Sinai. 

A peerage was offered to him in 1868. Ho refused it for himself, 
but asked Queen Victoria to grant the honor to his wife, who 
became the Countess of Beaconsfield. But in 1876 he accepted the 
rank and title of Earl of Beaconsfield. The author of "Vivian Grey' 
received the title that Burke had refused. 

His last novel. <Endymion,> was written for the /lo.ooo its pub- 
lishers paid for it. It adds nothing to his fame, but is an agreeable 
picture of fashionable London life and ihe struggles of a youth to 
gain power and place. 

Lord Beaconsfield put more dukes, earls, lords and ladies, more 
gold and jewels, more splendor and wealth into his books than any 
one else ever tried to do. But beside his Oriental delight in the dis- 
play of luxury, it is interesting to see the effect of that Orientalism 
when he describes the people from whom he sprang. His rare ten- 
derness and genuine respect are for those of the race "that is the 
aristocracy of nature, the purest race, the chosen people." He sends 
all his heroes to Palestine for inspiration; wisdom dwells in her 
gates. Another aristocracy, that of talent, he recognizes and ap- 
plauds. No dullard ever succeeds, no genius goes unrewarded. 

It is the part of the story-teller to make his story a probable one 
to the listener, no matter how impossible both character and situa- 
tion. Mr. Disraeli was accredited with the faculty of persuading 
himself to believe or disbelieve whatever he liked; and did he pos- 
sess the same power over his readers, these entertaining volumes 
would lift him to the highest rank the novelist attains. As it is, he 
does not quite succeed in creating an illusion, and we are conscious 
of two lobes in the author's brain; in one sits a sentimentalist, in 
the other a mocking devil. 



l6,g LORD BEACONSFIELD 

A DAY AT EMS 

From < Vivian Grey> 

« T THINK we'd better take a little coffee now; and then, if j'ou 
1 like, we'll just stroll into the Redoute" [continued Baron 
de Konigstein]. 
In a brilliantly illuminated saloon, adorned with Corinthian 
columns, and casts from some of the most famous antique statues, 
assembled between nine and ten o'clock in the evening many of 
the visitors at Ems. On each side of the room was placed a long, 
narrow table, one of which was covered with green baize, and 
unattended, while the variously colored leather surface of the 
other was very closely surrounded by an interested crowd.' 
Behind this table stood two individuals of very different appear- 
ance. The first was a short, thick man, whose only business was 
dealing certain portions of playing cards with quick succession, 
one after the other ; and as the fate of the table was decided by 
this process, did his companion, an extremely tall, thin man, 
throw various pieces of money upon certain stakes, which were 
deposited by the bystanders on different parts of the table; or, 
which was more often the case, with a silver rake with a long 
ebony handle, sweep into a large inclosure near him the scat- 
tered sums. This inclosure was called the bank, and the myste- 
rious ceremony in which these persons were assisting was the 
celebrated game of rouge-ct-noir. A deep silence was strictly 
observed by those who immediately surrounded the table; no 
voice was heard save that of the little, short, stout dealer, when, 
without an expression of the least interest, he seemed mechani- 
cally to announce the fate of the different colors. No other 
sound was heard save the jingle of the dollars and napoleons, 
and the ominous rake of the tall, thin banker. The countenances 
of those who were hazarding their money were grave and gloomy; 
their eyes were fixed, their brows contracted, and their lips pro- 
jected; and yet there was an evident effort visible to show that 
they were both easy and unconcerned. Each player held in his 
hand a small piece of pasteboard, on which, with a steel pricker, 
he marked the run of the cards, in order, from his observations, 
to regulate his own play: the rouge-et-noir player imagines that 
chance is not capricious. Those who were not interested in the 
game promenaded in two lines within the tables; or^ seated in 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 1639 

recesses between the pillars, formed small parties for conversa- 
tion. 

As Vivian and the baron entered, Lady Madeleine Trevor, 
leaning on the arm of an elderly man, left the room; but as she 
was in earnest conversation, she did not observe them. 

« I suppose we must throw away a dollar or two, Grey ! » said 
the baron, as he walked up to the table. 

«My dear De Konigstein — one pinch — one pinch !*> 
" Ah ! marquis, what fortune to-night ? '* 

« Bad bad ! I have lost my napoleon : I never risk further. 

There's that cursed crusty old De Trumpetson, persisting, as 
usual, in his run of bad luck, because he will never give in. 
Trust me, my dear De Konigstein, it'll end in his ruin; and 
then, if there's a sale of his effects, I shall perhaps get the 
snuff-box — a-a-h ! '* 

"Come, Grey; shall I throw down a couple of napoleons on 
joint account? I don't care much for play myself; but I sup- 
pose at Ems we must make up our minds to lose a few louis. 
Here ! now for the red — joint account, mind ! '* 
« Done. » 

"There's the archduke! Let us go and make our bow; we 
needn't stick at the table as if our whole soul were staked with 
our crown pieces — we'll make our bow, and then return in time 
to know our fate." So saying, the gentlemen walked up to the 
top of the room. 

"Why, Grey! — surely no — it cannot be — and yet it is. De 
Boeffleurs, how d'ye do ? " said the baron, with a face beaming 
with joy, and a hearty shake of the hand. "My dear, dear 
fellow, how the devil did you manage to get off so soon ? I 
thought you were not to be here for a fortnight: we only 
arrived ourselves to-day." 

«Yes — but I've made an arrangement which I did not antici- 
pate; and so I posted after you immediately. Whom do you 
think I have brought with me ? " 
" Who ? » 
« Salvinski. " 

"Ah! And the count?" 

" Follows immediately. I expect him to-morrow or next day. 
Salvinski is talking to the archduke; and see, he beckons to me. 
I suppose I am going to be presented." 

The chevalier moved forward, followed by the baron and 
Vivian. 



1640 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 



" Any friend of Prince Salvinski I shall always have great 
pleasure in having presented to me. Chevalier, I feel great 
pleasure in having you presented to me ! Chevalier, you ought 
to be proud of the name of Frenchman. Chevalier, the French 
are a grand nation. Chevalier, I have the highest respect for 
the French nation." 

"The most subtle diplomatist," thought Vivian, as he recalled 
to mind his own introduction, " would be puzzled to decide to 
which interest his imperial highness leans." 

The archduke now entered into conversation with the prince, 
and most of the circle who surrounded him. As his highness 
was addressing Vivian, the baron let slip ovir hero's arm, and 
seizing hold of the Chevalier de Boeffleurs, began walking up 
and down the room with him, and was soon engaged in very 
animated conversation. In a few minutes the archduke, bowing 
to his circle, made a move and regained the side of a Saxon 
lady, from whose interesting company he had been disturbed 
by the arrival of Prince Salvinski — an individual of whose long 
stories and dull romances the archduke had, from experience, 
a particular dread; but his highness was always very courteous 
to the Poles. 

" Grey, I've dispatched De Boeffleurs to the house to instruct 
the servant and Ernstorff to do the impossible, in order that 
our rooms may be all together. You'll be delighted with De 
Boeffleurs when you know him, and I expect you to be great 
friends. Oh ! by the by, his unexpected arrival has quite made 
us forget our venture at rouge-et-noir. Of course we're too late 
now for anything; even if we had been fortunate, our doubled 
stake, remaining on the table, is of course lost; we may as 
well, however, walk up." So saying, the baron reached the 
table. 

"That is your excellency's stake f — that is your excellency's 
stake ! " exclaimed many voices as he came up. 

" What's the matter, my friends ? what's the matter ? " asked 
the baron, very calmly. 

"There's been a run on the red! there's been a run on the 
red! and 5'our excellency's stake has doubled each time. It has 
been 4 — 8 — i6 — 32 — 64 — 128 — 256; and now it's 512!" quickly 
rattled a little thin man in spectacles, pointing at the same time 
to his unparalleled line of punctures. This was one of those 
officious, noisy little men, who are always ready to give you 
unasked information on every possible subject, and who are 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 



1641 



never so happy as when they are watching over the interest of 
some stranger, who never thanks them for their unnecessary 
solicitude. 

Vivian, in spite of his philosophy, felt the excitement and 
wonder of the moment. He looked very earnestly at the baron, 
whose countenance, however, remained perfectly unmoved. 

"Grey," said he, very coolly, "it seems we're in luck.** 

"The stake's then not all your own?** very eagerly asked the 
little man in spectacles. 

"No, part of it is yours, sir,** answered the baron, very dryly. 

"I'm going to deal,'* said the short, thick man behind. "Is the 
board cleared ? ** 

" Your excellency then allows the stake to remain ? ** inquired 
the tall, thin banker, with affected nonchalance. 

"Oh! certainly,** said the baron, with real nonchalance. 

" Three — eight — fourteen — twenty-fo;:r • — thirty-four. Rouge 

34-'' 

All crowded nearer; the table was suiTounded five or six 
deep, for the wonderful n.:n of luck had got wind, and nearly the 
whole room were roimd the table. Indeed, the archduke and 
Saxon lady, and of course the silent suite, were left alone at the 
upper part of the room. The tall banker did not conceal his 
agitation. Even the short, stout dealer ceased to be a machine. 
All looked anxious except the baron. Vivian looked at the table; 
his excellency watched, with a keen eye, the little dealer. No 
one even breathed as the cards descended. " Ten — twenty — ** 
here the countenance of the banker brightened — "twenty- two — 
twenty-five — twenty-eight — thirty-one — Noir 31. The bank's 
broke; no more play to-night. The roulette table opens imme- 
diately. '* 

In spite of the great interest which had been excited, nearly 
the whole crowd, without waiting to congratulate the baron, 
rushed to the opposite side of the room in order to secure places 
at the roulette table. 

"Put these five hundred and twelve Napoleons into a bag,** 
said the baron ; " Grey, this is your share, and I congratulate 
you. With regard to the other half, Mr. Hermann, what bills 
have you got ? '* 

"Two on Gogel's house of Frankfort — accepted of course — 
for two hundred and fifty each, and these twelve napoleons will 
make it right,** said the tall banker, as he opened a large black 



1642 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 



pocket-book, from which he took out two small bits of paper. 
The baron examined them, and after having seen them indorsed, 
put them calmly into his pocket, not forgetting the twelve napo- 
leons; and then taking Vivian's arm, and regretting extremely 
that he should have the trouble of carrying such a weight, he 
wished Mr. Hermann a very good-night and success at his rou- 
lette, and walked with his companion quietly home. Thus passed 
a day at Ems! 



THE FESTA IN THE «ALHAMBRA» 
From <The Young Duke > 

YOU entered the Alhambra by a Saracenic cloister, from the 
ceiling of which an occasional lamp threw a gleam upon 
some Eastern arms hung up against the wall. This passage 
led to the armory, a room of moderate dimensions, but hung with 
rich contents. Many an inlaid breastplate — many a Mameluke 
scimitar and Damascus blade — many a gemmed pistol and pearl- 
embroided saddle might there be seen, though viewed in a sub- 
dued and quiet light. All seemed hushed and still, and shrouded 
in what had the reputation of being a palace of pleasure. 

In this chamber assembled the expected guests. His Grace 
and the Bird of Paradise arrived first, with their foreign friends. 
Lord Squib and Lord Darrell, Sir Lucius Grafton, Mr. Annesley, 
and Mr. Peacock Piggott followed, but not alone. There were 
two ladies who, by courtesy if no other right, bore the titles of 
Lady Squib and Mrs. Annesley. There was also a pseudo Lady 
Aphrodite Grafton. There was Mrs. Montfort, the famous blonde, 
of a beauty which was quite ravishing, and dignified as beautiful. 
Some said (but really people say such things) that there was a 
talk (I never believe anything I hear) that had not the Bird of 
Paradise flown in (these foreigners pick up everything), Mrs. 
Montfort would have been the Duchess of St. James. How this 
may be I know not; certain, however, this superb and stately 
donna did not openly evince any spleen at her more fortunate 
rival. Although she found herself a guest at the Alhambra 
instead of being the mistress of the palace, probably, like many 
other ladies, she looked upon this affair of the singing-bird as a 
freak that must end — and then perhaps his Grace, who was a 
charming young man, would return to his senses. There also 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 1643 

was her sister, a long, fair girl, who looked sentimental, but 
was only silly. There was a little French actress, like a highly 
finished miniature; and a Spanish danscuse, tall, dusky, and lithe, 
glancing like a lynx, and graceful as a jennet. 

Having all arrived, they proceeded down a small gallery to 
the ban que ting-room. The doors were thrown open. Pardon me 
if for a moment I do not describe the chamber; but really, the 
blaze affects my sight. The room was large and lofty. It was 
fitted up as an Eastern tent. The walls were hung with scarlet 
cloth tied up with ropes of gold. Round the room crouched 
recumbent lions richly gilt, who grasped in their paw a lance, 
the top of which was a colored lamp. The ceiling was embla- 
zoned with the Hauteville arms, and was radiant with burnished 
gold. A cresset lamp was suspended from the centre of the 
shield, and not only emitted an equable flow of soft though 
brilliant light, but also, as the aromatic oil wasted away, distilled 
an exquisite perfume. 

The table- blazed with golden plate, for the Bird of Paradise 
loved splendor. At the end of the room, under a canopy and 
upon a throne, the shield and vases lately executed for his Grace 
now appeared. Everything was gorgeous, costly, and imposing; 
but there was no pretense, save in the original outline, at main- 
taining the Oriental character. The furniture was French; and 
opposite the throne Canova's Hebe, by Bertolini, bounded with a 
golden cup from a pedestal of orinohi. 

The guests are seated; but after a few minutes the servants 
withdraw. Small tables of ebony and silver, and dumb-waiters of 
ivory and gold, conveniently stored, are at hand, and Spiridion 
never leaves the room. The repast was most refined, most ex- 
quisite, and most various. It was one of those meetings where 
all eat. When a few persons, easy and unconstrained, unincum- 
bered with cares, and of dispositions addicted to enjoyment, get 
together at past midnight, it is extraordinary what an appetite 
they evince. Singers also are proverbially prone to gomiandize; 
and though the Bird of Paradise unfortunately possessed the 
smallest mouth in all Singingland, it is astonishing how she 
pecked! But they talked as well as feasted, and were really 
gay. It was amusing to observe — that is to say, if you had 
been a dumb-waiter, and had time for observation — how charac- 
teristic was the affectation of the women. Lady Squib was witty, 
Mrs. Annesley refined, and the pseudo Lady Afy fashionable. 



,644 LORD BEACONSFIELD 

As for Mrs. Montfort, she was, as her wont, somewhat silent but 
excessively sublime. The Spaniard said nothing, but no doubt 
indicated the possession of Cervantic humor by the sly calmness 
with which she exhausted her own waiter and pillaged her neigh- 
bors. The little Frenchwoman scarcely ate anything, but drank 
champagne and chatted, with equal rapidity and equal composure. 

"Prince," said the duke, ** I hope Madame de Harestein ap- 
proves of your trip to England ? " 

The prince only smiled, for he was of a silent disposition, and 
therefore wonderfully well suited his traveling companion. 

* Poor Madame de Harestein ! " exclaimed Count Frill. " What 
despair she was in when you left Vienna, my dear duke. Ah! 
vion Dicu ! I did what I could to amuse her. I used to take 
my guitar, and sing to her morning and night, but without the 
least effect. She certainly would have died of a broken heart, if 
it had not been for the dancing-dogs." 

"The dancing-dogs!" minced the pseudo Lady Aphrodite. 
** How shocking! " 

*' Did they bite her ? " asked Lady Squib, *' and so incKulate her 
with gayety ? " 

"Oh! the dancing-dogs, my dear ladies! ever}body was mad 
about the dancing-dogs. They came from Peru, and danced the 
mazurka in green jackets with a jabot ! Oh ! what a jabot ! " 

"I dislike animals excessively," remarked Mrs. Annesley. 

"Dislike the dancing-dogs!" said Count Frill. "Ah, my good 
lady, you would have been enchanted. Even the kaiser fed them 
with pistachio nuts. Oh, so pretty! delicate leetle things, soft 
shining little legs, and pretty little faces! so sensible, and with 
such jabots ! " 

"I assure you, they were excessively amusing," said the 
prince, in a soft, confidential undertone to his neighbor, Mrs. 
Montfort, who, admiring his silence, which she took for state, 
smiled and bowed with fascinating condescension. 

"And what else has happened very remarkable, count, since I 
left you ? " asked Lord Darrcll. 

" Nothing, nothing, my dear Darrcll. This bi^tise of a war has 
made us all serious. If old Clamstandt had not married that 
gipsy little Dugiria, I really think I should have taken a turn to 
Belgrade. " 

" You should not eat so much, poppet, " drawled Charles 
Annesley to the Spaniard. 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 1 645 

« Why not ' " said the little French lady, with great animation, 
always readv to lioht anybody's battle, provided she could get an 
opportunity to talk. «Why not, Mr. Annesley ? You never will 
let anybody eat — I never eat myself, because every night, hav- 
ing to talk so much, I am dry, dry, dry — so I drink, drink, 
drTnk. It is an extraordinary thing that there is no language 
which makes you so thirsty as French. I always have heard 
that all the southern languages, Spanish and Italian, make you 

hungry. " 

« What can be the reason ? » seriously asked the p:-,cudo Lady 

Afy. 

« Because there is so much salt in it," said Lord Squib. 

"Delia," drawled Mr. Annesley, "you look ver>' pretty to- 
night!" 

« I am charmed to charm you, Mr. Annesley. Shall I tell you 

what Lord Bon Mot said of you ? " 

« No, 7na mignonnc! I never wish to hear my own good 

things. " 

''Spoiled, you should add," said Lady Squib, «if Bon Mot be 

in the case." 

"Lord Bon Mot is a most gentlemanly man," said Delia, 
indignant at an admirer being attacked. « He always wants to 
be amusing. Whenever he dines out, he comes and sits with me 
half an hour to catch the air of Parisian badinage." 

«And you tell him a variety of little things?" asked Lord 
Squib, insidiously drawing out the secret tactics of Bon IMot. 

'' Beaticoup, beaucoup,^^ said Delia, extending two little white 
hands sparkling with gems. "If he come in ever so — how 
do you call it? heavy — not that — in the domps — ah! it is 
that — if ever he come in the domps, he goes out always like a 
soitfflce."'' 

«As empty, I have no doubt," said Lady Squib. 

"And as sweet, I have no doubt," said Lord Squib; "for Del- 
croix complains sadly of your excesses, Delia." 

"Mr. Delcroix complain of me! That, indeed, is too bad. 
Just because I recommended Montmorency de Versailles to him 
for an excellent customer, ever since he abuses me, merely 
because Montmorency has forgot, in the hurry of going off, to 
pay- his' little account." 

" But he says you have got all the things, " said Lord Squib, 
whose great amusement was to put Delia in a passion. 



x646 LORD BEACONSFIELD 

" What of that ? ** screamed the little lady. *< Montmorency 
gave them to me.* 

"Don't make such a noise,* said the Bird of Paradise. "I 
never can eat when there is a noise. St. James," continued she, 
in a "fretful tone, " they make such a noise ! ** 

* Annesley, keep Squib quiet. " 
• * Delia, leave that young man alone. If Isidora would talk 
a little more, and you eat a little more, I think you would be 
the most agreeable little ladies I know. Poppet! put those bon- 
bons in your pocket. You should never eat sugar-plums in com- 
pany. " 

Thus talking agreeable nonsense, tasting agreeable dishes, 
and sipping agreeable wines, an hour ran on. Sweetest music 
from an unseen source ever and anon soimded, and Spiridion 
swung a censer full of perfumes around the chamber. At length 
the duke requested Count Frill to give them a song. The Bird 
of Paradise would never sing for pleasure, only for fame and a 
slight check. The count begged to decline, and at the same 
time asked for a guitar. The signora sent for hers; and his 
Excellenc3% preluding with a beautiful simper, gave them some 
slight thing to this effect: — 

Charming Bignetta! charming Bigfnetta! 
What a gay little girl is charming Bignetta! 

She dances, .she prattles, 

She rides and she rattles; 
But she always is charming — that charming Bignetta! 

Charming Bignetta! charming Bignetta! 
What a wild little wntch is charming Bignetta! 

When she smiles I'm all madness; 

When she frowns I'm all sadness; 
But she always is smiling — that charming Big^netta! 

Charming Bignetta! charming Bignetta! 

What a wicked young rogue is charming Bignetta! 

She laughs at my shyness, 

And flirts with his highness; 
Yet still she is charming — that charming Bignetta! 

Charming Bignetta ! charming Bignetta ! 
What a dear little girl is charming Bignetta! 

« Think me only a sister,* 

Said she trembling; I kissed her. 
What a charming young sister is — charming Bignetta! 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 1647 

He ceased; and although 

« — the Ferraresse 

To choicer music chimed his gay gfuitar 

In Este's halls,» 

as Casti himself, or rather Mr. Rose, choicely sings, yet still his 
song served its purpose, for it raised a smile. 

** I wrote that for Madame Sapiepha, at the Congress of Ve- 
rona,** said Count Frill. "It has been thought amusing.** 

"Madame Sapiepha!** exclaimed the Bird of Paradise. "What! 
that pretty little woman who has such pretty caps ? ** 

" The same ! Ah ! what caps ! Mon Dicu ! what taste ! what 
taste ! ** 

"You like caps, then?** asked the Bird of Paradise, with a 
sparkling eye. 

"Oh! if there be anything more than other that I know most, 
it is the cap. Here, twV/.''* said he, rather oddly unbuttoning 
his waistcoat, "you see what lace I have got. Void! voici!^'* 

" Ah ! me ! what lace ! what lace ! '* exclaimed the Bird in 
rapture. " St. James, look at his lace. Come here, come here, 
sit next me. Let me look at that lace.** She examined it with 
great attention, then turned up her beautiful eyes with a fascinat- 
ing smile. "y4//.' c'est Jolie, ii'cst-ce pas? But you like caps. I 
tell you what, you shall see my caps. Spiridion, go, mon c/icr, 
and tell ma'amselle to bring my caps — all my caps, one of each 
set.'* 

In due time entered the Swiss, with the caps — all the caps — 
one of each set. As she handed them in turn to her mistress, 
the Bird chirped a paneg^-ric upon each. 

"That is pretty, is it not — and this also? but this is my 
favorite. What do you think of this border ? c'cst belle, cctte gar- 
niture ? et ce jabot, c'cst tres sc'duisant, n'est-ce pas ? Mais void, 
the cap of Princess Lichtenstein. C'cst superb, c'cst mon favori. 
But I also love ver}' much this of the Duchesse de Bern. She 
gave me the pattern herself. And after all, this cornctte h petite 
sant^ of Lady Blaze is a dear little thing; then, again, this coiffe 
h dentelle of Lady Macaroni is quite a pet.** 

"Pass them down,** said Lord Squib, "we want to look at 
them.*' Accordingly they were passed down. Lord Squib put 
one ono 



1648 LORD BEACONSFIELD 

"Do I look superb, sentimental, or only pretty?" asked his 
lordship. The example was contagfious, and most of the caps 
were appropriated. No one laughed more than their mistress, 
who, not having the slightest idea of the value of money, would 
have given them all away on the spot; not from any good-natured 
feeling, but from the remembrance that to-morrow she might 
amuse half an hour buying others. 

While some were stealing, and she remonstrating, the duke 
clapped his hands like a caliph. The curtain at the end of the 
apartment was immediately withdrawn and the ball-room stood 
revealed. 

It was of the same size as the banqueting-hall. Its walls 
exhibited a long perspective of gilt pilasters, the frequent piers of 
which were entirely of plate looking-glass, save where occasion- 
ally a picture had been, as it were, inlaid in its rich frame. 
Here was the Titian Venus of the Tribune, deliciously copied 
by a French artist; there, the Roman Fomarina, with her deli- 
cate grace, beamed like the personification of Raphael's genius. 
Here Zulcikha, living in the light and shade of that magician 
Guercino, in vain summoned the passions of the blooming He- 
brew; and there Cleopatra, preparing for her last immortal hour, 
proved by what we saw that Guido had been a lover. 

The ceiling of this apartment was richly painted and richly 
gilt; from it were suspended three lustres by golden cords, 
which threw a softened light upon the floor of polished and curi- 
ously inlaid woods. At the end of the apartment was an orches- 
tra, and here the pages, under the direction of Carlstein, offered 
a very efficient domestic band. 

Round the room waltzed the elegant revelers. Softly and 
slowly, led by their host, they glided along like spirits of air; 
but each time that the duke passed the musicians, the music 
became livelier, and the motion more brisk, till at length yoq 
might have mistaken them for a college of spinning dervishes. 
One by one, an exhausted couple slunk away. Some threw 
themselves on a sofa, some monopolized an easy-chair; but in 
twenty minutes all the dancers had disappeared. At length Pea- 
cock Piggott gave a groan, which denoted returning energy, and 
raised a stretching leg in air, bringing up, though most unwit- 
tingly, on his foot one of the Bird's sublime and beautiful caps. 

"Halloo! Piggott, armed cap an pied, I see," said Lord Squib. 
This joke was a signal for general resuscitation. . 



LORD BEACONSFIELt) 



1649 



Here they loung-ed in different parties, talking on such sub- 
jects as idlers ever fall upon; now and then plucking a flower — 
now and then listening to the fountain — now and then lingering 
over the distant music — and now and then strolling through a 
small apartment which opened to their walks, and which bore the 
title of the Temple of Gnidus. Here Canova's Venus breathed 
an atmosphere of perfume and of light — that wonderful statue 
whose full-charged eye is not very classical, to be sure — but 
then, how true! 

Lord Squib proposed a visit to the theatre, which he had 
ordered to be lit up. To the theatre they repaired. They 
rambled over every part of the house, amused themselves, to 
the horror of Mr. Annesley, with a visit to the gallery, and then 
collected behind the scenes. They were excessively ami:sed 
with the properties; and Lord vSquib proposed they should dress 
themselves. Enough champagne had been quaffed to render 
any proposition palatable, and in a few minutes they were all 
in costume. A crowd of queens and chambermaids, Jews and 
chimnej'-sweeps, lawyers and charleys, Spanish dons and Irish 
officers, rushed upon the stage. The little Spaniard was Alma- 
xnva, and fell into magnificent attitudes, with her sword and 
plume. Lord Squib was the old woman of Brentford, and very 
funny. Sir Lucius Grafton, Harlequin; and Darrell, Grimaldi. 
The prince and the count, without knowing it, figured as watch- 
men. Squib whispered Annesley that Sir Lucius ©'Trigger 
might appear in character, but was prudent enough to suppress 
the joke. 

The band was summoned, and they danced quadrilles with 
infinite spirit, and finished the night, at the suggestion of Lord 
Squib, by breakfasting on the stage. By the time this meal 
was dispatched, the purple light of morn had broken into the 
building, and the ladies proposed an immediate departure. Mrs 
Montfort and her sister were sent home in one of the duke's 
carriages; and the foreign guests were requested by him to be 
their escort. The respective parties drove off. Two cabriolets 
lingered to the last, and finally carried away the French actress 
and the Spanish dancer, Lord Darrell, and Peacock Piggott; but 
whether the two gentlemen went in one and two ladies in the 
other I cannot aver. I hope not. 

There was at length a dead silence, and the young duke was 
left to solitude and the signora! 
in — 104 



j/Jjo LORD BEACONSFTELD 

SQUIBS FROM <THE YOUNG DUKE> 
Charles Annesley 

DANDY has been voted vulgar, and beau is now the word. I 
doubt whether the revival will stand; and as for the ex- 
ploded title, though it had its faults at first, the muse or 
Byron has made it not only English, but classical. However, I 
dare say I can do without either of these words at present. 
Charles Annesley could hardly be called a dandy or a beau. 
There was nothing in his dress, though some mysterious arrange- 
ment in his costume — some rare simplicity — some curious happi- 
ness — always made it distinguished; there was nothing, however, 
in his dress which could account for the influence which he . 
exercised over the manners of his contemporaries. Charles 
Annesley was about thirty. He had inherited from his father, a 
younger brother, a small estate; and though heir to a wealthy 
earldom, he had never abused what the world called " his pros- 
pects. " Yet his establishments — his little house in Mayfair — 
his horses — his moderate stud at Melton — were all unique, and 
everything connected with him was unparalleled for its elegance, 
its invention, and its refinement. But his manner was his magic. 
His natural and subdued nonchalance, so different from the 
assumed non-emotion of a mere dandy; his coldness of heart, 
which was hereditary, not acquired; his cautious courage, and his 
imadulterated self-love, had permitted him to mingle much with 
mankind without being too deeply involved in the play of their 
passions; while his exquisite sense of the ridiculous quickly 
revealed those weaknesses to him which his delicate satire did 
not spare, even while it refrained from wounding. All feared, 
many admired, and none hated him. He was too powerful not 
to dread, too dexterous not to admire, too superior to hate. 
Perhaps the great secret of his manner was his exquisite super- 
ciliousness; a quality which, of all, is the most difficult to man- 
age. Even with his intimates he was never confidential, and 
perpetually assumed his public character with the private coterie 
which he loved to rule. On the whole, he was unlike any of the 
leading men of modem days, and rather reminded one of the 
fine gentlemen of our old brilliant comedy — the Dorimants, the 
"Bellairs, and the Mirabels^ 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 



The Fussy Hostess 



1651 



Men shrink from a fussy woman. And few can aspire to regu- 
late the destinies of their species, even in so slight a point as 
an hour's amusement, without rare powers. There is no greater 
sin than to be trop prononc^e. A want of tact is worse than a 
want of virtue. Some women, it is said, work on pretty well 
against the tide without the last. I never knew one who did 
not sink who ever dared to sail without the first. 

Loud when they should be low, quoting the wrong person, 
talking on the wrong subject, teasing with notice, excruciating 
with attentions, disturbing a tite-d-tete in order to make up a 
dance; wasting eloquence in persuading a man to participate in 
amusement whose reputation depends on his social suUenness; 
exacting homage with a restless eye, and not permitting the least 
worthy knot to be untwined without their divinityships' inter- 
ference ; patronizing the meek, anticipating the slow, intoxicating 
with compliment, plastering with praise that you in return may 
gild with flattery: in short, energetic without elegance, active 
without grace, and loquacious without wit; mistaking bustle for 
style, raillery for badinage, and noise for gayety — these are the 
characters who mar the very career they think they are creating, 
and who exercise a fatal influence on the destinies of all those 
who have the misfortune to be connected with them. 

Public Speaking 

Eloquence is the child of Knowledge. When a mind is full, 
like a wholesome river, it is also clear. Confusion and obscurity 
are much oftener the results of ignorance than of inefficiency. 
Few are the men who cannot express their meaning when the 
occasion demands the energy; as the lowest will defend their 
lives with acuteness, and sometimes even with eloquence. They 
are masters of their subject. Knowledge must be gained by our- 
selves. Mankind may supply us with facts; but the results, even 
if they agree with previous ones, must be the work of our own 
mind. To make others feel, we must feel ourselves; and to feel 
ourselves, we must be natural. This we can never be when we 
are vomiting forth the dogmas of the schools. Knowledge is not 
a mere collection of words; and it is a delusion to suppose that 
thought can be obtained by the aid of any other intellect than 



1652 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 



our own. What is repetition, by a curious mystery, ceases to be 
truth, even if it were truth when it was first heard; as the 
shadow in a mirror, though it move and mimic all the actions of 
vitality, is not life. When a man is not speaking o;* writing 
from his own mind, he is as insipid company as a look^iiig-glass. 
Before a man can address a popular assembly with command, 
he must know something of mankind, and he can know nothing 
of mankind without he knows something of himself. Self-knowl- 
edge is the property of that man whose passions have their play, 
but who ponders over their results. Such a man sympathizes by 
inspiration with his kind. He has a key to every heart. He can 
divine, in the flash of a single thought, all that they require, all 
that they wish. Such a man speaks to their very core. All feel 
that a master hand tears off the veil of cant, with which, from, 
necessity, they have enveloped their souls; for cant is nothing 
more than the sophistry which results from attempting to account 
for what is unintelligible, or to defend what is improper. 

Female Beauty 

There are some sorts of beauty which defy description, and 
almost scrutiny. Some faces rise upon us in the tumult of life, 
like stars from out the sea, or as if they had moved out of a 
picture. Our first impression is anything but fleshly. We are 
struck dumb — we gasp for breath — our limbs quiver — a faint- 
ness glides over our frame — we are awed; instead of gazing 
upon the apparition, we avert the eyes, which yet will feed upon 
its beauty. A strange sort of unearthly pain mixes with the 
intense pleasure. And not till, with a struggle, we call back to 
our memory the commonplaces of existence, can we recover our 
commonplace demeanor. These, indeed, are rare visions — these, 
indeed, are early feelings, when our young existence leaps with 
its mountain torrents; but as the river of our life rolls on, our 
eyes grow dimmer, or o\ir blood more cold. 



LORD BEACONSFIELD ,5,^ 

LOTHAIR IN PALESTINE 
From < Lothair > 

A PERSON approached Lothair In- the pathway from Bethany. 
It was the Syrian gentleman whom he had met at the con- 
sulate. As he was passing Lothair, he sainted him with 
the grace which had been before remarked; and Lothair, who 
was by nature courteous, and even inclined a little to ceremony 
in his manners, especially with those with whom he was not inti- 
mate, immediately rose, as he would not receive such a salutation 
in a reclining posture. 

"Let me not disturb you," said the stranger; "or, if we must 
be on equal terms, let me also be seated, for this is a view that 
never palls.** 

"It is perhaps famihar to you,** said Lothair; "but with me, 
only a pilgrim, its effect is fascinating, almost overwhelming." 

"The view of Jerusalem never becomes familiar,'* said the 
Syrian; "for its associations are so transcendent, so various, so 
inexhaustible, that the mind can never anticipate its course of 
thought and feeling, when one sits, as we do now, on this immor- 
tal mount.** . 

"I have often wished to visit the Sea of Galilee,** said 
Lothair. 

"Well, you have now an opportunity,** said the Syrian: "the 
north of Palestine, though it has no tropical splendor, has much 
variety and a peculiar natural charm. The burst and brightness 
of spring have not yet quite vanished; you would find our plains 
radiant with w41d-flowers, and our hills green with young crops, 
and though we cannot rival Lebanon, we have forest glades 
among our famous hills that when once seen are remembered.** 
" But there is something to me more interesting than the 
splendor of tropical scenery,** said Lothair, "even if Galilee 
could offer it. I wish to visit the cradle of my faith.** 

"And you would do wisely,** said the Syrian, "for there is no 
doubt the spiritual nature of man is developed in this land.'* 

"And yet there are persons at the present day who doubt — 
even deny — the spiritual nature of man,** said Lothair. « I do 
not, I coiild not — there are reasons why I could not.'* 

" There are some things I know, and some things I believe, '* 
said the Syrian. "I know that I have a soul, and I believe that 
it is immortal.'* 



1654 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 



** It is science that, by demonstrating the insignificance of this 
globe in the vast scale of creation, has led to this infidelity," said 
Lothair. 

** Science may prove the insignificance of this globe in the 
scale of creation," said the stranger, "but it cannot prove the 
insignificance of man. What is the earth compared with the sun ? 
a molehill by a mountain; yet the inhabitants of this earth can 
discover the elements of which the great orb consists, and will 
probably ere long ascertain all the conditions of its being. Nay, 
the human mind can penetrate far beyond the sun. There is no 
relation, therefore, between the faculties of man and the scale in 
creation of the planet which he inhabits." 

" I was glad to hear you assert the other night the spiritual 
nature of man in opposition to Mr. Phoebus." 

" Ah, A-Jr. Phoebus ! " said the stranger, with a smile. ** He is 
an old acquaintance of mine. And I must say he is very con- 
sistent — except in paying a visit to Jerusalem. That does surprise 
me. He said to me the other night the same things as he said 
to me at Rome many years ago. He would revive the worship 
of Nature. The deities whom he so eloquently describes and so 
exquisitely delineates are the ideal personifications of the most 
eminent human qualities, and chiefly the physical. Physical 
beauty is his standard of excellence, and he has a fanciful theory 
that moral order would be the consequence of the worship of 
physical beauty; for without moral order he holds physical beauty 
cannot be maintained. But the answer to Mr. Phoebus is, that 
his system has been tried and has failed, and under conditions 
more favorable than are likely to exist again; the worship of 
Nature ended in the degradation of the human race." 

"But Mr. Phoebus cannot really believe in Apollo and Venus," 
said Lothair. ** These are phrases. He is, I suppose, what is 
called a Pantheist." 

" No doubt the Olympus of Mr. Phoebus is the creation of 
his easel, " replied the Syrian. " I should not, however, describe 
him as a Pantheist, whose creed requires more abstraction than 
Mr. Phoebus, the worshiper of Nature, would tolerate. His school 
never care to pursue any investigation which cannot be followed 
by the eye — and the worship of the beautiful always ends in an 
orgy. As for Pantheism, it is Atheism in domino. The belief 
in a Creator who is imconscious of creating is more monstrous 
than any dogma of any of the churches in this city, and we have 
them all here." 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 



1655 



** But there are people now who tell you that there never 
was any creation, and therefore there never could have been a 
Creator," said Lothair. 

** And which is now advanced with the confidence of novelty, ** 
said the Syrian, ** though all of it has been urged, and vainly 
urged, thousands of years ago. There must be design, or all we 
see would be without sense, and I do not believe in the unmean- 
ing. As for the natural forces to which all creation is now 
attributed, we know they are unconscious, while consciousness is 
as inevitable a portion of our existence as the eye or the hand. 
The conscious cannot be derived from the unconscious. Man is 
divine." 

" I wish I could assure myself of the personality of the Cre- 
ator," said Lothair. "I cling to that, but they say it is unphilo- 
sophical. " 

** In what sense ? " asked the Syrian. " Is it more unphilo- 
sophical to believe in a personal God, omnipotent and omniscient, 
than in natural forces unconscious and irresistible ? Is it 
unphilosophical to combine power with intelligence ? Goethe, 
a Spinozist who did not believe in Spinoza, said that he could 
bring his mind to the conception that in the centre of space we 
might meet with a monad of pure intelligence. What may be 
the centre of space I leave to the daedal imagination of the 
author of * Faust*; but a monad of pure intelligence — is that 
more philosophical than the truth first revealed to man amid 
these everlasting hills, " said the Syrian, " that God made man 
in his own image ? " 

" I have often found in that assurance a source of sublime 
consolation," said Lothair. 

" It is the charter of the nobility of man, " said the Syrian, 
"one of the divine dogmas revealed in this land; not the inven- 
tion of councils, not one of which was held on this sacred soil, 
confused assemblies first got together by the Greeks, and then 
by barbarous nations in barbarous times." 

"Yet the divine land no longer tells us divine things," said 
Lothair. 

"It may or may not have fulfilled its destiny," said the Syrian. 
"*In my Father's house are many mansions,' and by the various 
families of nations the designs of the Creator are accomplished. 
God works by races, and one was appointed in due season and 
after many developments to reveal and expound in this land the 



1656 



LORD BEACONSFIELD 



spiritual nature of man. The Arj'an and the Semite are of the 
same blood and origin, but when they quitted their central land 
they were ordained to follow opposite courses. Each division 
of the great race has developed one portion of the double nature 
of humanity, till, after all their wanderings, they met again, and, 
represented by their two choicest families, the Hellenes and the 
Hebrews, brought together the treasures of their accumulated 
wisdom, and secured the civilization of man." 

"Those among whom I have lived of late," said Lothair, 
"have taught me to trust much in councils, and to believe that 
without them there could be no foundation for the Church. I 
observe you do not speak in that vein, though, like myself, you 
find solace in those dogmas which recognize the relations between 
the created and the Creator.'* 

** There can be no religion without that recognition,'* said the 
Syrian, ** and no creed can possibly be devised without such a 
recognition that would satisfy man. Why we are here, whence 
we come, whither we go — these are questions which man is 
organically framed and forced to ask himself, and that would 
not be the case if they could not be answered. As for churches 
depending on councils, the first council was held more than three 
centuries after the Sermon on the Moimt. We Syrians had 
churches in the interval; no one can deny that. I bow before 
the divine decree that swept them away from Antioch to Jerusa- 
lem, but I am not yet prepared to transfer my spiritual allegiance 
to Italian popes and Greek patriarchs. We believe that our 
family were among the first followers of Jesus, and that we then 
held lands in Bashan which we hold now. We had a gospel once 
in our district where there was some allusion to this, and being 
written by neighbors, and probably at the time, I dare say it 
was accurate; but the Western Churches declared our gospel was 
not authentic, though why I cannot tell, and they succeeded in 
extirpating it. It was not an additional reason why we should 
enter into their fold. So I am content to dwell in Galilee and 
trace the footsteps of my Divine Master, musing over his life 
and pregnant sayings amid the mounts he sanctified and the 
waters he loved so well.** 



i657 




BEAUMARCHAIS 

(1732-1799) 

BY BRANDER MATTHEWS 

^lERRE AuGUSTiN Caron was born in Paris, January 24th, 1732. 
He was the son of a watchmaker, and learned his father's 
trade. He invented a new escapement, and was allowed 
to call himself "Clockmaker to the King" — Louis XV. At twenty- 
four he married a widow, and took the name of Beaumarchais from 
a small fief belonging to her. Within a year his wife died. Being a 
fine musician, he was appointed instructor of the King's daughters; 
and he was quick to turn to good account the influence thus acquired. 
In 1764 he made a sudden trip to 
Spain to vindicate a sister of his, who 
had been betrothed to a man called 
Clavijo and whom this Spaniard had 
refused to marry. He succeeded in 
his mission, and his own brilliant ac- 
count of this characteristic episode in 
his career suggested to Goethe the 
play of ^Clavigo.' Beaumarchais him- 
self brought back from Madrid a liking 
for things Spanish and a knowledge 
of Iberian customs and character. 

He had been a watchmaker, a musi- 
cian, a court official, a speculator, and 
it was only when he was thirty-five 
that he turned dramatist. Various 

French authors, Diderot especially, weary of confinement to tragedy 
and comedy, the only two forms then admitted on the French stage, 
were seeking a new dramatic formula in which they might treat pa- 
thetic situations of modern life ; and it is due largely to their efforts 
that the modern "play'> or "drama,* the story of every-day exist- 
ence, has been evolved. The first dramatic attempt of Beaumarchais 
was a drama called * Eugenie,* acted at the Theatre Frangais in 1767, 
and succeeding just enough to encourage him to try again. The sec- 
ond, * The Two Friends,' acted in 1770, was a frank failure. For the 
pathetic, Beaumarchais had little aptitude ; and these two serious 
efforts were of use to him only so far as their performance may have 
helped him to master the many technical difficulties of the theatre, 




Beaum.4rchais 



1658 



BEAUMARCHAIS 



Beaumarchais had married a second time in 1768, and he had 
been engaged in various speculations with the financier Paris-Duver- 
. ney. In 1770 his wife died, and so did his associate; and he found 
himself soon involved in lawsuits, into the details of which it is need- 
less to go, but in the course of which he published a series of 
memoirs, or statements of his case for the public at large. These 
memoirs are among the most vigorous of all polemical writings; they 
were very clever and very witty; they were vivacious and audacious; 
they were unfailingly interesting; and they were read as eagerly as 
the < Letters of Junius.* Personal at first, the suits soon became 
political; and part of the public approval given to the attack of 
Beaumarchais on judicial injustice was due no doubt to the general 
discontent with the existing order in France. His daring conduct of 
his own cause made him a personality. He was intrusted with one. 
secret mission by Louis XV. ; and when Louis XVL came to the 
throne, he managed to get him again employed confidentially. 

Not long after his two attempts at the serious drama, he had tried 
to turn to account his musical faculty by writing both the book and 
the score of a comic opera, which had, however, been rejected by the 
Comedie-Italienne (the predecessor of the present Opera Comique). 
After a while Beaumarchais cut out his music and worked over his 
plot into a five-act comedy in prose, * The Barber of Seville.* It was 
produced by the Theatre Frangais in 1775, and like the contemporary 

* Rivals* of Sheridan, — the one English author with whom Beau- 
marchais must always be compared, — it was a failure on the first 
night and a lasting success after the author had reduced it and rear- 
ranged it. * The Barber of Seville * was like the < Gil Bias * of Lesage 
in that, while it was seemingly Spanish in its scenes, it was in real- 
ity essentially French. It contained one of the strongest characters 
in literature, — Figaro, a reincarnation of the intriguing servant of 
Menander and Plautus and Moliere. Simple in plot, ingenious in 
incident, brisk in dialogue, broadly effective in character-drawing, 

* The Barber of Seville * is the most famous French comedy of the 
eighteenth century, with the single exception of its successor from 
the same pen, which appeared nine years later. 

During those years Beaumarchais was not idle. Like Defoe, he 
was always devising projects for money-making. A few months after 

* The Barber of Seville * had been acted, the American Revolution 
began, and Beaumarchais was a chief agent in supplying the Ameri- 
cans with arms, ammunition, and supplies. He had a cruiser of his 
own, Le Fier Roderigue, which was in D'Estaing's fleet. When the 
independence of the United States was recognized at last, Beaumar- 
chais had a pecuniary claim against the young nation which long 
remained unsettled. 



BEAUMARCHAIS 



1659 



Not content with making war on his own account almost, Beau- 
marchais also undertook the immense task of publishing a complete 
edition of Voltaire. He also prepared a sequel to the < Barber,* in 
which Figaro should be even more important, and should serve as a 
mouthpiece for declamatory criticism of the social order. But his 
* Marriage of Figaro ' was so full of the revolutionary ferment that its 
performance was forbidden. Following the example of Moliere under 
the similar interdiction of * Tartuff e, * Beaumarchais was untiring in 
arousing interest in his unacted play, reading it himself in the houses 
of the great. Finally it was authorized, and when the first perform- 
ance took place at the Theatre Frangais in 1784, the crush to see it 
was so great that three persons were stifled to death. The new 
comedy was as amusing and as adroit as its predecessor, and the hits 
at the times were sharper and swifter and more frequent. How 
demoralized society was then may be gauged by the fact that this 
disintegrating satire was soon acted by the amateurs of the court, 
a chief character being impersonated by Marie Antoinette herself. 

The career of Beaumarchais reached its climax with the produc- 
tion of the second of the Figaro plays. Afterward he wrote the 
libretto for an opera, *Tarare,* produced with Salieri's music in 1787; 
the year before he had married for the third time. In a heavy play 
called * The Guilty Mother,' acted with slight success in 1790, he 
brought in Figaro yet once more. During the Terror he emigrated 
to Holland, returning to Paris in 1796 to find his sumptuous mansion 
despoiled. May i8th, 1799, he died, leaving a fortune of $200,000, 
besides numerous claims against the French nation and the United 
States. 

An interesting parallel could be drawn between * The Rivals ' and 
the < School for Scandal > on the one side, and on the other < The 
Barber of Seville * and < The Marriage of Figaro > ; and there are also 
piquant points of likeness between Sheridan and Beaumarchais. But 
Sheridan, with all his failings, was of sterner stuff than Beaumarchais. 
He had a loftier political morality, and he served the State more 
loyally. Yet the two comedies of Beaumarchais are like the two 
comedies of Sheridan in their incessant wit, in their dramaturgic 
effectiveness, and in the histrionic opportunities they afford. Indeed, 
the French comedies have had a wider audience than the English, 
thanks to an Italian and a German, — to Rossini who set * The Bar- 
ber of Seville > to music, and to Mozart who did a like service for 
*The Marriage of Figaro.' 



^^•^2^^ 




'dsA^ 



j66o beaumarchais 

FROM <THE BARBER OF SEVILLE > 

Outwitting a Guardian 

[Rosina's lover, Count Almaviva, attempts to meet and converse with her 
by hoodwinking Dr. Bartolo, her zealous guardian. He comes in disguise to 
Bartolo's dwelling, in a room of which the scene is laid.] 

[Enter Count Almaviva, dressed as a student. ] 

Count [so/e/nn/j] — May peace and joy abide here evermore! 

Bartolo {brusquely^ — Never, young sir, was wish more Apro- 
pos ! What do you want ? 

Count — Sir, I am one Alonzo, a bachelor of arts — 

Bartolo — Sir, I need no instructor. 

Count — — a pupil of Don Basilio, the organist of the con- 
vent, who teaches music to Madame j'our — 

Bartolo [sus/>ictouslj'] — Basilio! Organist! Yes, I know him. 
Well? 

Count {aside] — What a man! [Aloud.] He's confined to his 
bed with a sudden illness. 

Bartolo — Confined to his bed! Basilio! He's very good to 
send word, for I've just seen him. 

Count [aside] — Oh, the devil! [Aloud.] When I say to his 
bed, sir. it's — I mean to his room. 

Bartolo — Whatever's the matter with him, go, if you please. 

Count [embarrassed] — 'Sir, I was asked — Can no one hear us? 

Bartolo [aside] — It's some rogue! [Aloud.] What's that? 
No, Monsieur Mysterious, no one can hear! Speak frankly — if 
you can. 

Count [aside] — Plague take the old rascal! [Aloud.] Don 
Basilio asked mc to tell you — 

Bartolo — Speak louder. I'm deaf in one ear. 

Count [raising his voice] — Ah! quite right: he asks me to say 
to you that one Count Almaviva, who was lodging on the great 
square — 

Bartolo [frightened] — Speak low, speak low. 

Count [louder] — — moved away from there this morning. 
As it was I who told him that this Count Almaviva — 

Bartolo — Low, speak lower, I beg of you. 

Count [in the same tone] — Was in this city, and as I have 
discovered that Sciiorita Rosina has been writing to him — 



BEAUMARCHAIS ,66 1 

Bartolo — Has been writino- to him? My dear friend, I im- 
plore you, do speak low! Come, let's sit down, let's have a 
friendly chat. You have discovered, you say, that Rosina — 

Count \angrily?^ — Certainly. Basilio, anxious about this cor- 
respondence on your account, asked me to show you her letter; 
but the way you take things — 

Bartolo — Good Lord! I take them well enough. But can't 
you possibly speak a little lower ? 

Count — You told me you were deaf in one ear. 

Bartolo — I beg your pardon, I beg your pardon, if I've been 
surly and suspicious, Signor Alonzo: I'm surrounded with spies — 
and then your figure, your age, your whole air — I beg your 
pardon. Well ? Have you the letter ? 

Count — I'm glad you're barely civil at last, sir. But are you 
quite sure no one can overhear us ? 

Bartolo — Not a soul. My servants are all tired out. Senorita 
Rosina has shut herself up in a rage! The very devil's to pay 
in this house. Still I'll go and make sure. \^He goes to peep 
into Rosina' s room.] 

Count [aside] — Well, I've caught myself now in my own trap. 
Now what shall I do about the letter? If I were to rvm off? — 
but then I might just as well not have come. Shall I show it 
to him ? If I could only warn Rosina beforehand ! To show it 
would be a master-stroke. 

Bartolo [returning on tiptoe] — She's sitting by the window 
with her back to the door, and re-reading a cousin's letter which 
I opened. Now, now — let me see hers. 

Count [handing him Rosina' s letter] — Here it is. [Aside.] 
She's re-reading my letter. 

Bartolo [reads quickly] — " Since you have told me your name 
and estate — '* Ah, the little traitress ! Yes, it's her writing. 

Count [frightened] — Speak low yourself, won't you ? 

Bartolo — What for, if you please ? 

Count — When we've finished, you can do as you choose. But 
after all, Don Basilio's negotiation with a lawyer — 

Bartolo — With a lawyer ? About my marriage ? 

Count — Would I have stopped you for anything else? He told 
me to say that all can be ready to-morrow. Then, if she resists — 

Bartolo — She Avill. 

Count [wants to take back the letter; Bartolo clutches it] — 
I'll tell you what we'll do. We will show her her letter; and 



J 66 2 BEAUMARCHAIS 

then, if necessary, [more mysteriously'] I'll even tell her that it 
was given to me by a woman — to whom the Count is sacrificing 
her. Shame and rage may bring her to terms on the spot. 

Bar tola [lauglmig] — Calumny, eh ? My dear fellow, I see very 
well now that you come from Basilio. But lest we should seem 
to have planned this together, don't you think it would be better 
if she'd met you before ? 

Count {repressing a start of joy] — Don Basilio thought so, I 
know. But how can we manage it 7 It is late already. There's 
not much time left. 

Bartolo — I will tell her you've come in his place. Couldn't 
you give her a lesson ? 

Count — I'll do anything you like. But take care she doesn't 
suspect. All these dodges of pretended masters are rather old 
and theatrical. 

Bartolo — She won't suspect if I introduce you. But how you 
do look! You've much more the air of a disguised lover than of 
a zealous student-friend. 

Count — Really? Don't you think I can hoodwink her all the 
better for that ? 

Bartolo — She'll never guess. She's in a horrible temper this 
evening. But if she'll only see you — Her harpsichord is in this 
room. Amuse yourself while you're waiting. I'll do all I can to 
bring her here. 

Count — Don't say a word about the letter. 

Bartolo — Before the right moment? It would lose all effect 
if I did. It's not necessary to tell me things twice; it's not 
necessary to tell me things twice. [He goes.] 

Count [alone, soliloquizes] — At last I've won! Ouf! What a 
difficult little old imp he is! Figaro imderstands him. I found 
myself lying, and that made me awkward; and he has eyes for 
everything! On my honor, if the letter hadn't inspired me he'd 
have thought me a fool! — Ah, how they are disputing in there! — 
What if she refuses to come? Listen — If she won't, my com- 
ing is all thrown away. There she is: I won't show myself at 
first. 

{Rostna enters.] 

Rosina [angrily] — There's no use talking about it, sir. I've 
made up my mind. I don't want to hear anything more about 
music. 



BEAUMARCHAIS 1663 

Bartolo — But, my child, do listen! It is Senor Alonzo, the 
friend and pupil of Don Basilio, whom he has chosen as one oi 
our marriage witnesses. I'm sure that music will calm you. 

Rosina — Oh! you needn't concern yourself about that; and 
as for singing this evening — Where is this master you're so 
afraid of dismissing? I'll settle him in a minute — and Senor 
Basilio too. \She sees her lover and exclaims .•] Ah ! 

Bartolo — Eh, eh, what is the matter? 

Rosina [pressing her hands to her heart'\ — Ah, sir! Ah, sir! 

Bartolo — She is ill again! Senor Alonzo! 

Rosina — No, I am not ill — but as I was turning — ah! 

Count — Did you sprain your foot, Madame? 

Rosina — Yes, yes, I sprained my foot ! I — hurt myself dread- 
fully. 

Count — So I perceived. 

Rosina \looking at the Connt'\ — The pain really makes me feel 
faint. 

Bartolo — A chair — a chair there! And not a single chair 
here! \^He goes to get one.] 

Count — Ah, Rosina ! 

Rosina — What imprudence ! 

Count — There are a hundred things I must say to you. 

Rosina — He won't leave us alone. 

Count — Figaro will help us. 

Bartolo [bringing an arm-chair] — Wait a minute, my child. 
Sit down here. She can't take a lesson this evening, Senor: 
you must postpone it. Good-by. 

Rosina [to the Count] — No, wait ; my pain is better. [ To 
Bartolo.] I feel that I've acted foolishly! I'll imitate you, and 
atone at once by taking my lesson. 

Bartolo — Oh! Such a kind little woman at heart! But after 
so much excitement, my child, I can't let you make any exer- 
tion. So good-bye, Seiior, good-bye. 

Rosina [to the Count] — Do wait a minute! [To Bartolo.] I 
shall think that you don't care to please me if you won't let me 
show my regret by taking my lesson. 

Count [aside to Bartolo] — I wouldn't oppose her, if I were you. 

Bartolo — That settles it, my love: I am so anxious to please 
you that I shall stay here all the time you are practicing. 

Rosina — No, don't. I know you don't care for music. 

Bartolo — It will charm me this evening, I'm sure. 



t664 BEAUMARCHAIS 

Rosina \aside to Jhe Count\ — I'm tormented to death! 

Count {taking a sheet of music from the stand^ —Will you sing 
this, Madame ? 

Rosina — Y&?,, indeed — it's a very pretty thing out of the 
opera < The Useless Precaution. > 

Bartolo — ^Nhy do you ahuays sing from < The Useless Pre- 
caution * ? 

Count — There is nothing newer! It's a picture of spring in a 
very bright style. So if Madame wants to try it — 

Rosina [looking at the Count]— \Ni\.h. pleasure. A picture of 
spring is delightful! It is the youth of nature. It seems as if 
the heart always feels more when winter's just over. It's like a 
slave who finds liberty all the more charming after a long con- 
finement. 

Bartolo \to t/ic Count] — Always romantic ideas in her head! 

Count [in a lo7v tone] — Vi'\CL you notice the application? 

Bartolo — Zounds ! 

[He sits (loivn in the chair which Rosina has been occupying. Rosina sings, 
during -ivhich Bartolo goes to sleep. Under cmer of the refrain the 
Count seizes Rosina s hand and co7>ers it with kisses. In her emotion 
she sings brokenly, and finally breaks off altogether. The sudden 
silence awakens Bartolo. 7he Count starts up, and Rosina quickly 
resumes her song.] 

[Don Basilio enters. Figaro in background] 

Rosina [startled, to herself] — Don Basilio! 

Count [aside] — Good Heaven! 

Figaro — The devil! 

Bartolo [going to meet him] — K\i\ welcome, Basilio. So your 
accident was not very serious? Alonzo quite alarmed me about 
you. He will tell you that I was just going to see you, and if 
he had not detained me — 

Basilio [in astonishment] — Sefior Alonzo ? 

Figaro [stamping his foot] — ^e\\ well! How long must I 
wait? Two hours wasted already over your beard — Miserable 
business! 

Basilio [looking at every one in atnazement] — But, gentlemen, 
will you please tell mc — 

Figaro — You can talk to him after I've gone. 

Basilio — But still, would — 



BEAUMARCHAIS 



1665 



Count — You'd better be quiet, Basilic. Do yoii think )'ou 
can inform him of anything new ? I've told him that you sent 
me for the music lesson instead of coming himself. 

Basilio {still more asto/n's/wd] — The music lesson! Alonzo! 

Rosina [aside to Basilio] — Do hold your tongue, can't you ? 

Basilio — She, too! 

Coioit [to Bartohi] — Let him know what you and I have 
agreed upon. 

Bartolo [aside to Basilio] — Don't contradict, and say that he 
is not yoi:r pupil, or you will spoil everything. 

Basilio— K\v\ Ah! 

Bartolo [aloud] — Indeed, Basilio, your pupil has a great deal 
of talent. 

Basilio [stupefied] — My pupil! [In a lozu tone.] I came to 
tell you that the Coimt has moved. 

Bartolo [lozv] — I know it. Hush. 

Basilio [low] — Who told you ? 

Bartolo [low] — He did, of course. 

Count [lozu] — It was I, naturally. Just listen, won't you? 

Rosina [low to Basilio] — Is it so hard to keep still ? 

Figaro [low to Basilio] — Hum ! The sharper ! He is deaf ! 

Basilio [aside] — Who the devil are they trying to deceive 
here ? Everybody seems to be in it ! 

Bartolo [aloud] — Well, Basilio — about your lawyer — ? 

Figaro — You have the whole evening to talk about the 
lawyer. 

Bartolo [to Basilio] — One word ; only tell me if you are sat- 
isfied with the lawyer. 

Basilio [startled] — With the lawyer ? 

Count [smiling] — Haven't you seen the lawyer? 

Basilio [impatient] — Eh? No, I haven't seen the lawyer. 

Count [aside to Bartolo] — Do you want him to explain matters 
before her ? Send him away. 

Bartolo [low to the Count] — You are right. [To Basilio.] But 
what made you ill, all of a sudden ? 

Basilio [angrily] — I don't understand you. 

Count [secretly slipping a purse into his hands] — Yes: he 
wants to know what you are doing here, when you are so far 
from well ? 

Figaro — He's as pale as a ghost! 

Basilio — Ah! I understand. 
in — 105 



J 666 BEAUMARCHAIS 

Count — Go to bed, dear Basilio. You are not at all well, and 
you make us all anxious. Go to bed. 

Figaro — He looks quite upset. Go to bed. 

Bartolo — I'm sure he seems feverish. Go to bed. 

Rosina — Why did you come out ? They say that it's catching. 
Go to bed. 

Basilio \in the greatest atuazetnent'\ — I'm to go to bed! 

All the others together — Yes, you must. 

Basilio [looking at them all] — Indeed, I think I will have to 
withdraw. I don't feel quite as well as usual. 

Bartolo — We'll look for you to-morrow, if you are better. 

Count — I'll see you soon, Basilio. 

Basilio [^aside] — Devil take it if I understand all this ! And 
if it weren't for this purse — 

All — Good-night, Basilio, good-night. 

Basilio {going] — Very well, then; goodi-mgh.X., good-7iight. 

[The others, all laughing, push him civilly out of the room.] 

FROM <THE MARRIAGE OF FIGARO > 
Outwitting a Husband 

[The scene is the boudoir of young Countess Almaviva, the Rosina of the 
previous selection. She is seated alone, when her clever maid Susanna 
ushers in the young page Cherubino, just banished from the house because 
obnoxious to the jealous Count.] 

Susanna — Here's our young Captain, Madame. 

Cherubino [timidly] — The title is a sad reminder that — that 
I must leave this delightful home and the godmother who has 
been so kind — 

Susanna — And so beautiful! 

Cherubino [sighing] — Ah, yes! 

Susanna [mocking his sigh] — Ah, yes! Just look at his hypo- 
critical eyelids! Madame, make him sing his new song. [She 
gives it to him.] Come now, my beautiful bluebird, sing away. 

Countess — Does the manuscript say who wrote this — song? 

Susanna — The blushes of guilt betray him. 

Cherubino — Madame, I — I — tremble so. 

Susanna — Ta, ta, ta, ta — ! Come, modest author — since you 
are so commanded. Madame, I'll accompany him. 

Countess [to Susanna] — Take my guitar. 



BEAUMARCHAIS 



1667 



[ Cheriibino sings his ballad to the air of * Malbrouck. * The Countess reads 
the words of it from his manuscript, with an occasional glance at 
him; he sometimes looks at her and sometimes louvers his eyes as he 
sings. Susanna, accompanying him, watches them both, laughing. \ 

Countess [folding the song] — Enough, my boy. Thank you. 
It is very good — full of feeling — 

Susanna — Ah! as for feeling — this is a young man who — 
well! 

YCherubino tries to stop her by catching hold of her dress. 
Susanna whispers to liiin'\ — Ah, you good-for-nothing! I'm going 
to tell her. [Aloud.] Well — Captain! We'll amuse ourselves by 
seeing how you look in one of my dresses ! 

Countess — ^ Susanna, how can you go on so? 

Susanna [going up to Chcrubino and mcasuri>ig herself with 
him\ — He's just the right height. Ofi: with your coat. [She 
dratvs it off.] 

Countess — But what if some one should come? 

Susanna — -What if they do? We're doing no wrong. But 
I'll lock the door, just the same. [Locks it.] I want to see him 
in a woman's head-dress! 

Countess — Well, you'll find my little cap in my dressing-room 
on the toilet table. 

[Susanna gets the cap, and then, sitting do^vn on a stool, she makes CherU' 
bino kneel before her and arranges it on his hair.] 

Susanna — Goodness, isn't he a pretty girl? I'm jealous. 
Cherubino, you're altogether too pretty. 

CoiiJitess — Undo his collar a little; that will give a more 
feminine air. [Susanna loosens his collar so as to show his neck.] 
Now push up his sleeves, so that the under ones show more. 
[ While Susanna rolls up Cherubino' s sleeves, the Countess notices 
her lost ribbon around his ivrist. ] What is that ? My ribbon ? 

Susanna — Ah! I'm very glad you've seen it, for I told him 
I should tell. I should certainly have taken it away from him 
if the Count hadn't come just then; for I am almost as strong 
as he is. 

Countess [zvitJi surprise, unrolling the ribbon] — There's blood 
on it! 

Cheriibino — Yes, I was tightening the curb of my horse this 
morning, he curvetted and gave me a push with his head, and 
the bridle stud grazed my arm. 



1 668 BEAUMARCHAIS 

Countess — I never saw a ribbon used as a bandage before. 

Susanna — Especially a stolen ribbon. What may all those 
things be — the curb, the curvetting, the bridle stud? \G lances 
at his arms.'] What white arms he has! just like a woman's. 
Madame, they are whiter than mine. 

Countess — Never mind that, but run and find me some oiled 
silk. 

[Susanna goes out, after humorously pushing Cherubino oz'er so that he 
falls forivard on his hands. He and the Countess look at each 
other for some time; then she breaks the silence. J 

Countess — I hope you are plucky enough. Don't show your- 
self before the Count again to-day. We'll tell him to hurry up 
your commission in his regiment. 

Cherubino — I already have it, Madame. Basilio brought it 
to me. [He draws the commission from his pocket and hands it 
to her.] 

Countess — Already! They haven't lost any time. [She opetti 
it.] Oh, in their hurry they've forgotten to add the seal to it. 

Susanna [returning 7vith the oiled silk] — Seal what? 

Countess — His commission in the regiment. 

Susanna — Already ? 

Countess — That's what I said. 

Susanna — And the bandage? 

Countess — Oh, when you are getting my things, take a ribbon 
from one of your caps. [Susanna goes out again.] 

Countess — This ribbon is of my favorite color. I mvtst tell 
you I was greatly displeased at your taking it. 

Cherubino — That one would heal me quickest. 

Countess — And — why so ? 

Cherubino — When a ribbon — has pressed the head, and — 
touched the skin of one — 

Countess [hastily] — Very strange — then it can cure woimds ? 
I never heard that before. I shall certainly try it on the first 
wound of any of — my maids — 

Cherubifio [sadly] — I must go away from here! 

Countess — But not for always? [Cherubino begins to weep.] 
And now you are crying! At that prediction of Figaro? 

Cherubino — I'm just where he said I'd be. [Some ove knocks 
on the door]. 



BEAUMARCHAIS j55q 

Countess — Who can be knocking like that? 

The Count \ontsidc\ — Open the door! 

Countess — Heavens! It's my husband. Where can you hide? 

The Count \outside'\ — Open the door, I say. 

Countess — There's no one here, you see. 

The Count- — But who are you talking to then? 

Countess — To you, I suppose. yfo Chcrubiuo.'\ Hide your- 
self, quick — in the dressing-room ! 

Cherubino — Ah, after this morning, he'd kill me if he found 
me Jiere. 

{He runs into the dressing-room on the right, which is also Susanna's 
room; the Countess, after locking him in and taking the key, admits the 
Count. ] 

Count — You don't usually lock yourself in, Madame. 

Countess — I_I_was gossiping with Susanna. She's gone. 
[Pointing to her maid's room.] 

Count — And you seem very much agitated, Madame. 

Countess— ^oX. at all, I assure you! We were talking about 
you. She's just gone — as I told you. 

Count — I must say, Madame, you and I seem to be sur- 
rounded by spiteful people. Just as I'm starting for a ride, I'm 
handed a note which informs me that a certain person whom 
I suppose far enough away is to visit you this evening. 

Countess — The bold fellow, whoever he is, will have to come 
here, then; for I don't intend to leave my room to-day. 

[Something falls heavily in the dressing-room where Cherubi?io is.] 

Count — Ah, Madame, something dropped just then! 

Countess — I didn't hear anything. 

Coimt — You must be very absent-minded, then. Somebody 
is in that room ! 

Countess — Who do you think could be there? 

Count — Madame, that is what I'm asking you. I have just 
come in. 

Countess — Probably it's Susanna wandering about. 

Count [pointing] — BvLt you just told me that she went that 
way. 

Countess — This way or that — I don't know which. 

Count — Yevy well, Madame, I must see her.— Come here, 
Susanna. 



1670 



BEAUMARCHAIS 



Countess — She cannot. Pray wait! She's but half dressed. 
She's trying on things that I've given her for her wedding. 

Count — Dressed or not, I wish to see her at once. 

Coimtcss — I can't prevent your doing so anywhere else, but 
here — 

Count — You may say what you choose — I will see her. 

Countess — I thoroughly believe you'd like to see her in that 
state ! but — 

Count — Very well, Madame. If Susanna can't come out, at 
least she can talk. [Turniug toward the dressing-room. '\ Su- 
sanna, are you there ? Answer, I command you. 

Countess \peremptorily\ — Don't answer, Susanna! I forbid 
you ! Sir, how can you be such a petty tyrant ? Fine suspicions, 
indeed ! 

\Susanna slips by and hides behind the Countess's bed without being noticed 
either by her or by the Count. \ 

Count — They are all the easier to dispel. I can see that it 
would be useless to ask you for the key, but it's easy enough 
to break in the door. Here, somebody! 

Countess — Will you really make yourself the laughing-stock of 
the chateau for such a silly suspicion ? 

Coutit — You are quite right. I shall simply force the door 
myself. I am going for tools. 

Countess — Sir, if your conduct were prompted by love, I'd 
forgive your jealousy for the sake of the motive. But its cause 
is only your vanity. 

Count — Love or vanity, Madame, I mean to know who is in 
that room! And to guard against any tricks, I am going to lock 
the door to your maid's room. You, Madame, will kindly come 
with me, and without any noise, if you please. \Hc leads her 
away.'\ As for the Susanna in the dressing-room, she will please 
wait a few minutes. 

Countess [going out with hi'm\ — Sir, I assure you — 

Susanna [coming out from behind the bed and running to the 
dressing-roovi\ — Cherubino! Open quick! It's Susanna. [Chcru- 
bino hurries out of the dressing-room.'\ Escape — you haven't a 
minute to lose! 

Cherubino — Where can I go ? 



BEAUMARCHAIS 1671 

Susanna — I don't know, I don't know at all! but do go some- 
where ! 

Chcrubino \riinning to the zvindoiv, then coming back'\ — The 
window isn't so very high. 

Susanna [frightened and holding hijn back'\ — He'll kill himself! 
Clieriibino — Ah, Susie, I'd rather jump into a gulf than put the 
Countess in danger. \^Hc snatches a kiss, then runs to tlie win- 
dow, hesitates, and finally jumps doum into t lie gar den. A^ 

Susanjia — Ah! ySlie falls fainting into an arm-chair. Recov- 
ering sloii'ly, she rises, and seeing Cherubino running through the 
garden she comes fortvard panting.^ He's far away already! . . . 
Little scamp ! as nimble as he is handsome ! \^She next runs to 
the dressing-room.^ Now, Count Almaviva, knock as hard as you 
like, break down the door. Plague take me if I answer you. 
[Goes into the dressing-room and shuts the door.] 

[Count and Countess return.] 

Count — Now, Madame, consider well before you drive me to 
extremes. 

Countess — I — I beg of you — ! 

Count [preparing to burst open the door] — You can't cajole 
me now, 

Cou)itess [throwing herself on her knees] — Then I will open 
it! Here is the key. 

Count — So it is not Susanna? 

Countess — No, but it's no one who should offend you. 

Count — If it's a man I kill him! Unworthy wife! You 
wish to stay shut up in your room — you shall stay in it long 
enough, I promise you. Now I understand the note — my sus- 
picions are justified! 

Countess — Will you listen to me one minute ? 

Count — Who is in that room ? 

Countess — Your page. 

Count — Cherubino ! The little scoundrel ! — just let me catch 
him! I don't wonder you were so agitated. 

Countess — I — I assure you we were only planning an inno- 
cent joke. 

[ The -.Count snatches the key, and goes to the dressing-room door; the 
Countess throws 'herself at his feet. ] 

Countess — Have mercy, Coimt! Spare this poor child; and 
although the disorder in which you will find him — 



1672 



BEAUMARCHAIS 



Count — What, Madame ? What do you mean ? What disorder ? 
Countess — He was just changing his coat — his neck and arms 
are bare — 

[ The Countess thrcnus herself into a chair and turns away her head. ] 

Count \running to the dressing-room ] — Come out here, you 
young villain! 

Count [seeing Susanna come out of the drcssing-rooni] — Eh ! 
Why, it is Susanna! [Asi(ie.'\ What, a lesson! 

Susanna [mocking him'] — " I will kill him ! I will kill him ! ** 
Well, then, why don't you kill this mischievous page ? 

Count [to the Countess, who at the sight of Susanna shows the 
greatest surprise] — So yoii also play astonishment, Madame ? 

Countess — Why shouldn't I ? 

Count — But perhaps she wasn't alone in there. I'll find out. 
[He goes into the dressing-room.] 

Countess — Susanna, I'm nearly dead. 

Count [aside, as he returns] — No one there ! So this time I 
really am wrong. [To the Countess, coldly.] You excel at com- 
edy, Madame. 

Susanna — And what about me, sir ? 

Count — And so do you. 

Countess — Aren't you glad you found her instead of Cheru- 
bino ? [Meani7tgly.] You are generally pleased to come across her. 

Susanna — Madame ought to have let you break in the doors, 
call the servants — 

Count — Yes, it's quite true — I'm at fault — I'm humiliated 
enough! But why didn't you answer, you cruel girl, when I 
called you ? 

Susanna — I was dressing as well as I could — with the aid of 
pins, and Madame knew why she forbade me to answer. She 
had her lessons. 

Count — Why don't you help me get pardon, instead of mak- 
ing me out as bad as you can ? 

Countess — Did I marry you to be eternally subjected to jeal- 
ousy and neglect ? I mean to join the Ursulines, and — 

Count — But, Rosina! 

Countess — I am no longer the Rosina whom j^ou loved so 
well. I am only poor Countess Almaviva, deserted wife of a 
madly jealous husband. 



BEAUMARCHAIS 1673 

Count — I assure you, Rosina, this man, this letter, had 
excited me so — 

Count CSS — I never gave my consent. 

Count — What, you knew about it ? 

Countess — This rattlepate Figaro, without my sanction — 

Count — He did it, eh! and Basilio pretended that a peasant 
brought it. Crafty wag, ready to impose on everybody! 

Countess — You beg pardon, but you never grant pardon. If 
I grant it, it shall only be on condition of a general amnesty. 

Count — Well, then, so be it. I agree. But I don't imdcr- 
stand how your sex can adapt itself to circumstances so quickly 
and so nicely. You were certainly much agitated; and for that 
matter, you are yet. 

Countess — Men aren't sharp enough to distinguish between 
honest indignation at unjust suspicion, and the confusion of guilt. 

Count — We men think we know something of politics, but 
we are only children. Madame, the King ought to name 3^ou 
his ambassador to London. — And now pray forget this unfor- 
tunate business, so humiliating for me. 

Countess — For us both. 

Count — Won't you tell me again that you forgive me? 

Countess — Have I said tliat, Susanna? 

Count- — Ah, say it now. 

Countess — Do you deserve it, culprit? 

Count — Yes, honestly, for my repentance. 

Countess \_giving Jiini her Jiand'\ — How weak I am! What an 
example I set you, Susanna! He'll never believe in a woman's 
anger. 

Susanna — You are prisoner on parole; and you shall see we 
are honorable. 



t674 




FRANCIS BEAUMONT AND JOHN FLETCHER 

(1584-1616) (1579-1625) 

}he names of Beaumont and Fletcher," says Lowell, in his 
lectures on *01d English Dramatists,' <* are as inseparably 
©^!^9 linked together as those of Castor and Pollux. They are 
the double star of our poetical firmament, and their beams are so 
indissolubly mingled that it is vain to attempt any division of them 
that shall assign to each his rightful share." Theirs was not that 
dramatic collaboration all too common among the lesser Elizabethan 
dramatists, at a time when managers, eager to satisfy a restless 

public incessantly clamoring for novelty, 
parceled out single acts or even scenes of 
a play among two or three playwrights, to 
put together a more or less congruous piece 
of work. Beaumont and Fletcher joined 
partnership, not from any outward neces- 
sity, but inspired by a common love of 
their art and true congeniality of mind. 
Unlike many of their brother dramatists, 
whom the necessities of a lowly origin 
drove to seek a livelihood in writing for 
the theatres, Beaumont and Fletcher were 
of gentle birth, and sprung from families 
eminent at the bar and in the Church. 
Beaumont was born at Grace-Dieu in Leicestershire, 1584, the son of 
a chief justice. His name is first mentioned as a gentleman com- 
moner at Broadgate Hall, now Pembroke College, Oxford. At sixteen 
he was entered a member of the Inner Temple, but the dry facts of 
the law did not appeal to his romantic imagination. Nowhere in his 
work does he draw upon his barrister's experience to the extent that 
makes the plays of Middleton, who also knew the Inner Temple at 
first hand, a storehouse of information in things legal. His feet soon 
strayed, therefore, into the more congenial fields of dramatic inven- 
tion. 

Fletcher was born in Rye, Sussex, the son of a minister who 
later became Bishop of London. Giles Fletcher the Younger, and 
Phineas Fletcher, both well-known poets in their day, were his cous- 
ins. His early life is as little known as that of Beaumont, and indeed 
as the lives of most of the other Elizabethan dramati.sts. He was a 
pensioner at Benet College, now Corpus Christi, Cambridge, in 1591, 




Francis Beaumont 



FRANCIS BEAUMONT AND JOHN FLETCHER 1675 

and in 1593 he was « Bible-clerk » there. Then we hear nothing 
of him until <The Woman Hater > was brought out in 1607. The 
play has been ascribed to Beaumont alone, to Fletcher alone, and 
to the two jointly. Whoever may be the author, it is the firstling 
of his dramatic muse, and worth merely a passing mention. How 
or when their literary friendship began is not known; but since both 
were friends of Jonson, both prefixing commendatory verses to the 
great realist's play of * The Fox,' it is fair to assume that through 
him they were brought together, and that both belonged to that 
brilliant circle of wits, poets, and dramatists who made famous the 
gatherings at the Mermaid Inn. 

They lived in the closest intimacy on the Bankside, near the 
Globe Theatre in Southwark, sharing everything in common, even the 
bed, and some say their clothing, — which is likely enough, as it can 
be paralleled without going back three centuries. It is certain that 
the more affluent circumstances of Beaumont tided his less fortunate 
friend over many a difficulty; and the astonishing dramatic pro- 
ductivity of Fletcher's later period was probably due to Beaumont's 
untimely death, making it necessary for Fletcher to rely on his pen 
for support. 

In 16 1 3 Beaumont's marriage to a Kentish heiress put an end to 
the communistic bachelor establishment. He died March 6th, 16 16, 
not quite six weeks before Shakespeare, and was buried in Westmin- 
ster Abbey. Fletcher survived him nine years, dying of the plague 
in 1625. He was buried, not by the side of the poet with whose 
name his own is forever linked, but at St. Saviour's, Southwark. 

«A student of physiog-nomy," says Swinburne, «will not fail to mark the 
points of likeness and of difference between the faces of the two friends; both 
models of noble manhood. . . . Beaumont the statelier and serener of the 
two, with clear, thoughtful eyes, full arched brows, and strong aquiline nose, 
with a little cleft at the tip ; a grave and beautiful mouth, with full and finely 
curved lips ; the form of face a very pure oval, and the imperial head, with 
its <fair large front > and clustering hair, set firm and carried high with an 
aspect of quiet command and knightly observation. Fletcher with more keen 
and fervid face, sharper in outline every way, with an air of bright ardor and 
glad, fiery impatience ; sanguine and nervous, suiting the complexion and color 
of hair; the expression of the eager eyes and lips almost rivaling that of a 
noble hound in act to break the leash it strains at; — two heads as lordly of 
feature and as expressive of aspect as any gallery of g^eat men can show.** 

It may not be altogether fanciful to transfer this description of 
their physical bearing to their mental equipment, and draw some 
conclusions as to their several endowments and their respective share 
in the work that goes under their common name. Of course it is 
impossible to draw hard and fast lines of demarkation, and assign to 



1676 FRANCIS BEAUMONT AND JOHN FLETCHER 

each poet his own words. They, above all others, would probably 
have resented so dogmatic a procedure, and affirmed the dramas to 
be their joint offspring, — even as a child partakes of the nature of 
both its parents. 

Their plays are organic structures, with well worked-out plots and 
for the most part well-sustained characters. They present a com- 
plete fusion of the different elements contributed by each author; 
never showing that agglomeration of incongruous matter so often 
found among the work of the lesser playwrights, where each hand 
can be singled out and held responsible for its share. Elaborate 
attempts, based on verse tests, have been made to disentangle the 
two threads of their poetic fabric. These attempts show much 
patient analysis, and are interesting as evidences of ingenuity; but 
they appeal more to the scholar than to the . lover of poetry. Yet 
a sympathetic reading and a comparison of the plays professedly 
written by Fletcher alone, after Beaumont's death, with those jointly 
produced by them in the early part of Fletcher's career, shows the 
different qualities of mind that went to the making of the work, and 
the individual characteristics of the men that wrote it. Here Swin- 
burne's eloquence gives concreteness to the picture. 

In the joint plays there is a surer touch, a deeper, more pathetic 
note, a greater intensity of emotion ; there is more tragic pathos and 
passion, more strong genuine humor, nobler sentiments. The pre- 
dominance of these graver, sweeter qualities may well be attributed 
to Beaumont's influence.. Although a disciple of Jonson in comedy, 
he was a close follower of Shakespeare in tragedy, and a student 
of the rhythms and metres of Shakespeare's second manner, — of 
the period that saw 'Hamlet,* 'Macbeth,* and the plays clustering 
around them. Too great a poet himself merely to imitate, Beau- 
mont yet felt the influence of that still greater poet who swayed 
every one of the later dramatists, with the single exception perhaps 
of Jonson. But in pure comedy, mixed with farce and mock-heroic 
parody, he belongs to the school of "rare Ben.** 

Fletcher, on the other hand, is more brilliant, more rapid and 
supple, readier in his resources, of more startling invention. He 
has an extraordinary swiftness and fluency of speech ; and no other 
dramatist, not even Shakespeare, equals him in the remarkable facil- 
ity with which he reproduces in light, airy verse the bantering con- 
versations of the young beaux and court-gentlemen of the time of 
James I. His peculiar trick of the redundant syllable at the end of 
many of his lines is largely responsible in producing this effect of 
ordinary speech, that yet is verse without being prosy. There is a 
flavor about Fletcher's work peculiarly its own. He created a new 
form of mixed comedy and dramatic romance, dealing with the 



FRANCIS BEAUMONT AND JOHN FLETCHER 1677 

humors and mischances of men, yet possessing a romantic colorinj^. 
He had great skill in combining his effects, and threw a fresh charm 
and vividness over his fanciful world. The quality of his genius is 
essentially bright and sunny, and therefore he is best in his comic 
and romantic work. His tragedy, although it has great pathos and 
passion, does not compel tears, nor does it subdue by its terror. It 
lacks the note of inevitableness which is the final touchstone of 
tragic greatness. 

Their first joint play, *Philaster, or Love Lies a-Bleeding,* acted 
in 1608, is in its detached passages the most famous. Among the 
others, *The Maid's Tragedy,* produced about the same time, is their 
finest play on its purely tragic side, although the plot is disagreeable. 

* King and No King * attracts becatise of the tender character-drawing 
of Panthea. * The Scornful Lady > is noteworthy as the best expo- 
nent, outside his own work, of the school of Jonson on its grosser 
side. * The Knight of the Burning Pestle * is at once a burlesque on 
knight-errantry and a comedy of manners. 

Among the tragedies presumably produced by Fletcher alone, 
'Bonduca' is one of the best, followed closely by *The False One,' 
' Valentinian,* and ^Thierry and Theodoret.* <The Chances' and 
< The Wild Goose Chase > may be taken as examples of the whole 
work on its comic side. * The Humorous Lieutenant ' is the best 
expression of the faults and merits of Fletcher, whose comedies 
Swinburne has divided into three groups: pure comedies, heroic or 
romantic dramas, and mixed comedy and romance. To the first 
group belong < Rule a Wife and Have a Wife, ' Fletcher's comic 
masterpiece, *Wit without Money,' < The Wild Goose Chase,' < The 
Chances,' <The Noble Gentleman